Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme
A £45 million scheme designed to alleviate flooding in and around Leeds City Centre continues to make good progress.
The Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme (LFAS) is one of the largest river flood defence schemes in the country and has been initiated to protect Leeds City Centre from flooding. The scheme runs between Leeds Train Station and Knostrop Cut and has been designed to protect Leeds from a 1:75 year flood – a major flood event estimated to take place once every 75 years.
The LFAS includes the installation of two moveable weirs, as well as the construction of land defences including embankments, terracing and walls. In total, 22 flood defences are being installed between Leeds Train Station and Knostrop Cut and these defences will include the extension of existing walls as well as the creation of new walls, with some defences incorporated into existing buildings.
As part of the project, Knostrop Cut Island will be removed in order to merge the canal and the River Aire, creating additional floor water storage space which will help facilitate and lower the levels of water. Additional flood defences will be installed along the route.
According to Leeds City Council, “the threat of flooding is increasingly linked to climate change and increasing urbanisation. In recent years there have been many near misses in Leeds City Centre. Leeds narrowly escaped a major flood during the 2007 floods which caused major damage and disruption to cities and residential communities in England. Since 2007, there have been several localised flood events closing the train station, blocking roads and resulting in city centre residents being evacuated from waterfront properties.
“Presently there are no formal flood defences along the River Aire and therefore to protect businesses, homes, the transportation network and the city economy in the future, we need to provide flood defences. A flood alleviation scheme (FAS) has been designed to protect the city centre from a 1:75 year flood, which is a flood event estimated to take place once every 75 years. The planned scheme will involve the construction of flood defence interventions between Leeds Train Station and Knostrop Lock downstream of the city centre and includes additional interventions along the Hol beck and at Woodlesford.”
Leeds City Council has implemented the scheme and is working closely with the Environment Agency, the Canal and River Trust and associated partners to deliver the project.
The work is being undertaken through a joint venture between Bam Nuttall and Mott MacDonald (BMMJV)
Bam Nuttall is a leading construction contractor delivering schemes across a broad range of sectors, including rail, road, maritime, land and water.
Once the flood defences are in place, a series of environmental works will be undertaken to improve the appearance of the north bank of the river. This aspect of the project will encourage biodiversity and will improve links for both people and wildlife in the local area.
For more information about the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme, please visit: www.leeds.gov.uk.