Phase 1 of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme uses innovative technology to reduce the risk of flooding in the city centre.
Funding for the scheme was secured through contributions from Leeds City Council, Environment Agency, Defra, Regional Growth Fund, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, Yorkshire Water and CEG.
The scheme was officially opened on 4 October 2017 by Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Judith Blake and Chair of the Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd.
Phase 1 is made up of 3 main elements:
- Moveable weirs
- Merging of the river and canal
- Flood walls, glazed panels and embankments stretching more than 4.5km
It is the first time moveable weirs have been used for flood risk reduction purposes in the UK. The weirs; at Crown Point in the city centre and further downstream at Knostrop can be lowered to create more room for flood water, with the potential of reducing flood levels by up to 1 metre.
The removal of a 600m stretch of land known locally as Knostrop Cut island has allowed the river and canal to merge. This has created additional capacity for flood water, helping to lower levels in flood conditions.
At Knostrop, a new locally manufactured bridge has been installed across the weir to connect the Trans Pennine Trail with the north bank of the river.
Work continues to construct flood defences along the length of Hol Beck which flows into the River Aire adjacent to Granary Wharf. Work is expected to be complete in January 2018. Traffic management measures previously in place to allow construction of the defences are no longer in operation as part of this work.
Elsewhere, low level embankments have increased the level of protection in Woodlesford.