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.
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.
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 June 2018.
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 will be removing the platform underneath the Redcote Lane Bridge. The platform is not currently used and during a flood it has been known to restrict the flow of the river by trapping debris. Consultation with the bridge owner and local businesses is ongoing. We anticipate this work will be carried out over a couple of days and the bridge will not need to be closed during this time.
Work has started on a 730 metre long flood defence wall along the boundary of Stourton Industrial Estate with the Aire and Calder Canal.
The works will protect 90 existing businesses in the industrial estate, safeguard over 4,000 existing jobs in the area and help to protect access to the M1. All of the work is expected to be complete by June 2018.
This work is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
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.
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
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).
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