Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme - Phase Two

Leeds City Council and the Environment Agency are working together to identify a solution for the whole of the city from the River Aire.

Phase 2 of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme is taking a catchment-wide approach. This means the entire River Aire catchment area will be considered to help reduce flood risk in Leeds including areas such as Kirkstall and Stourton. This approach will adopt a combination of Natural Flood Management (NFM) and engineered measures to help slow the flow and catch water further up the catchment so that flood peaks are reduced further downstream.

Phase 2 study area map

Other measures include increased protection for the South Bank area of the city centre which is a key future economic driver for Leeds.

The Phase 2 plans have a strong focus on NFM, with proposals to create new woodland areas which would more than double canopy coverage in the River Aire catchment. Water storage areas will be created and developed, operated by a control gate system meaning water can be held and then released back into the river when safe to do so. A third element would be the removal of existing obstructions along the river to help reduce water levels, along with lowering the riverbed in places to improve its capacity and flow.

The range of measures currently proposed include:

  • a programme of NFM works introduced over the next 30 years with the aim of sustaining the standard of protection in the face of climate change up to 2069. This would involve:
    • creating new woodland areas by planting hundreds of thousands of trees
    • land management to reduce run off
    • river and flood plain restoration including re-meandering of the river channel in certain areas and smaller storage ponds
  • where possible, using sites in Leeds to store flood waters when river levels are high. Current proposals include a site upstream at Calverley;
  • advanced construction works creating Aa new 700-metre long flood defence at Stourton;
  • improving the flow of water through the city with the removal of redundant bridges at Armley Mills; raising Milford Place footbridge; removal of an under-hanging structure at Redcote Lane bridge and widening the river channel adjacent to the A65;
  • improving riverbank protection measures along the river catchment in Craven and Pendle along with enhanced woodland areas and installing debris dams;
  • constructing raised defences along the river which could include landscaping, terracing, embankments and walls;

You can view the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme flood extents (PDF 412KB) to see the area that is being covered by Phase 2 of the scheme.

Business case

Leeds City Council submitted the outline business case to the Environment Agency Large Project Review Group in January 2018. The business case is currently going through the Environment Agency and Government assurance processes. We will be submitting a planning application for the scheme in November 2018.

Find out more about the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme Phase 2 (LFAS2).

Advanced works

Ahead of the main scheme work to reduce flood risk in Kirkstall we are looking to carry out a number of advanced works to reduce flood risk locally.

Redcote Lane (Gotts Bridge)

We have removed the platform underneath the Redcote Lane Bridge in Kirkstall to reduce the risk of flooding to businesses and residents. The platform under Gotts Bridge was not being used and during a flood it has been known to restrict the flow of the river Aire by trapping debris. It is situated downstream from where the majority of flood water escapes onto Kirkstall Road. The work was carried during October without any need to close the bridge following consultation with the bridge owner and local businesses. This is one of the advanced works which will be carried out before the main works planned for the 2nd Phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.

Redcote Lane bridge


A new 730 metre long flood defence wall has been built along the boundary of Stourton Industrial Estate with the Aire and Calder Canal to provide 88 businesses with better flood protection. Four businesses and one Northern Power Grid site have also been provided with extra protection for their properties such as flood gates and demountable barriers that can be installed by the businesses across door openings in the event of a flood.

These measures provide further protection for the city centre and the South Bank area, with formal engineering elements supported by flexible barriers which can be deployed quickly whenever there is a flood threat. The works will provide a one in 200 year standard of protection helping to safeguard over 4,000 existing jobs in the area and protect access to the M1.



Milford Place

We are investigating the removal of a redundant pipe bridge at Milford Place which is in poor condition and known to cause blockages, increasing flood risk to the local area. The pipe bridge supplies Armley Mills with its gas supply so we are looking to divert this service.

This £1.4m project has been funded by Leeds City Council and the European Regional Development Fund. It is part of a package of measures being carried out to protect the city before the main works of the 2nd Phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation scheme are approved.

Kirkstall Flap Valve

Work to install a flap valve on a surface water drain to prevent flood water from backing up and flooding Kirkstall Bridge Shopping Park has been completed by the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme project team and Yorkshire Water.

Natural flood management pilot

A pilot natural flood management (NFM) pilot project is underway in the upper Aire catchment. This £500,000 pilot forms part of plans to plant hundreds of thousands of trees that will support the wider NFM programme of the second phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.

The pilot sites will see how natural techniques, such as tree planting, woody debris dams and wetland creation, can slow the flow of water and reduce the risk of flooding downstream. The work is being delivered by the Environment Agency in partnership with Leeds City Council.

If you have any questions about the natural flood management project, please get in touch with the team at LeedsFAS.nfm@environment-agency.gov.uk

How you can get involved

The consultation for the first options for Phase 2 has now closed. You can still download a copy of the LFAS Consultation Leaflet Information (PDF 4MB).

Stay up to date

The project team produces a quarterly newsletter which is available in the Documents section below.

You can also follow us on our dedicated twitter account @LeedsFAS for the latest information, updates and project information.

Partnership logos

Contact us




Leeds FAS Extentshttps://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/Upper Aire Catchment Boundary and River Aire (condensed).pdf2076169pdf
Flood Alleviation Scheme Newsletter December 2018https://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/Flood Alleviation Scheme Newsletter December 2018_.pdf727930pdf
Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme FAQshttps://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme FAQs.pdf218003pdf

Did you find what you were looking for?

Did you find the information you were looking for?