Progress on £50m scheme provides relief for flood-risk residents in Leeds

The flooded River Aire at Kirkstall in 2015.
The flooded River Aire at Kirkstall in 2015.
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Work on a £50m flood protection scheme in Leeds has passed a significant milestone, council bosses announced today.

Three moveable weir gates have been successfully put in place at Knostrop Weir on the River Aire as part of phase one of the Leeds Flood Allevation Scheme.

The weirs can be lowered to reduce river levels and help prevent a repeat of the disastrous flooding that hit Leeds in December 2015.

Moveable weirs are also being constructed further upstream at Crown Point in the city centre.

Led by Leeds City Council and the Environment Agency, the project represents the first time that moveable weir technology has been used in the UK for flood protection.

Speaking after a visit to Knostrop Weir, council leader Coun Judith Blake said: “It was fascinating to see the new flood scheme up close and especially to see the amazing technology and engineering involved in putting these moveable weirs in place to control the flow of the River Aire.

“It is such a simple idea but it is fantastic to see Leeds at the cutting-edge of the field using the latest technology in this way.”

Work on phase one of the flood allevation scheme is due for completion this summer and will provide increased protection for properties in the city centre and Woodlesford.

Planning work is currently being carried out ahead of phase two of the scheme, which is due to focus on areas such as Kirkstall and Stourton – both badly affected by 2015’s flooding.

New fish and eel ‘passes’ are being constructed at Knostrop as part of the project’s first phase.

The previous stone weir at the site was around three metres high and prevented fish and eels migrating upstream.