£10m boost to Mytholmroyd flood defences

The Co-op and Burnley Road, Mytholmroyd, December 26, 2015, floods. Picture by  Jade Smith
The Co-op and Burnley Road, Mytholmroyd, December 26, 2015, floods. Picture by Jade Smith

More than £10m will be ploughed into Mytholmroyd to build new flood defences to better protect homes and businesses from the devastating impact of flooding.

A new flood action plan for the village, commissioned by Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss, sets out a programme to reduce the flood risk in Mytholmroyd, with construction work due to start by the end of the year.

Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker hailed the plan as “great news” for the flood-ravaged village.

The outline plan includes proposals to construct new walls and raise existing ones to up to a maximum height of approximately 1.8m, widen the channel on the River Calder including improvements to bridge structures, strengthen buildings on both banks of the River Calder and Cragg Brook and make improvements to the culvert on While Lee Clough.

Residents will now be consulted on the options to ensure the right decisions are made.

In conjunction with developing options to reduce the risk of flooding from the Calder and its tributaries, the Environment Agency is also working with partners to develop an understanding of surface water flood risk, and the links with flooding from the highways, sewers and the Rochdale Canal.

Around 370 properties were flooded in Mytholmroyd as unprecedented, torrential downpours battered the upper Calder Valley on Boxing Day.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said: “I saw first-hand the devastation caused in Mytholmroyd by the floods. It was heartbreaking to see, but also inspiring to witness the community rally round, especially as someone who grew up in Yorkshire.

“I am determined the people of Mytholmroyd have the best possible protection against future flooding and this plan is a key step to making that happen and delivering on our £10 million pledge.

“The local geography is challenging and there are no simple answers, but we will not shy away from the task in hand. That is why the Environment Agency has developed a plan that will have the biggest impact on saving people’s homes, businesses, and ultimately lives, from future flooding.”

Councillor Tim Swift, leader of Calderdale Council, added: “We encourage local people and businesses to look at the action plan and get involved through their local flood group and consultation events coming up over the next month.”

The flood action plan for Mytholmroyd comes after the Government announced funding of an extra £35m for flood defences in Calderdale, on top of £17m already in the programme. A plan for the whole Calder Valley will be completed by October 2016.