Calderdale flood defence schemes to save millions of pounds in the long run

Cases are being developed for alleviation schemes which could save millions of pounds by helping protect homes and businesses against flooding  in parts of Calderdale.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 7:15 am

Almost £13 million has been secured for schemes at Brighouse (£6.4 million), Sowerby Bridge (£4.6 million), Copley near Halifax (£500,000), Hebden Bridge (£1 million), the Nest estate at Mytholmroyd (£121,000) and Todmorden Market Hall (£250,000), cash which will be released at different stages over the next three years.

And a report presented to Calderdale Flood Recovery and Resilience Programme Board indicates how partners estimate schemes can save money by preventing as far as is possible – there is no 100 per cent guarantee all flooding can be prevented – the damage extreme weather can cause.

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Flood defence in Mytholmroyd

Detailed designs are set to begin this month (January) for the flood alleviation scheme at Walsden which will aim to reduce the flooding risk to 147 homes.

It is estimated a robust standard of protection will deliver around £47.6 million in economic benefit from avoiding flood damage, said the report.

Once the scope of work has been agreed Calderdale, Network Rail – whose track floods leading on occasion to cancelled services – and United Utilities will be engaged so ground investigation work, including at Ramsden Clough Reservoir above the village, can begin in the spring.

Flooding is caused by the speed surface water runs off from surrounding catchments, raising the level of Walsden Water, and a suite of measures will include “significant” natural flood management measures to slow the water down.

Engineers Arup is expected to produce outline case designs ready for an outline business case being submitted for the scheme in the summer.

The Sowerby Bridge Flood Alleviation scheme has already had its strategic outline case approved and is out to Yorkshire Water and the council for their comments.

It is estimated better protecting 46 homes, as well as businesses and infrastructure, along the River Ryburn upstream from its confluence with the River Calder has the potential to bring around £23 million in economic benefits by avoiding flood damage.

Flooding can occur from high levels in either the Ryburn or the Calder, experience has shown.

The area includes Station Road, Water Street and Victoria Road in addition to properties along the main A58 road, including businesses at the vulnerable Ryburn Buildings.

Protecting the homes is the primary aim of the scheme, board members heard, where again a suite of measures are likely to feature.

Work is also being undertaken to produce the best scheme to deal with a general reduction in the Walsden Water bed and scour damaging flood walls between Shade School and Back Waterloo cottages at Shade, Todmorden.

Some urgent work there has already been undertaken.

Work is also continuing to work up schemes for other areas but these are still at an early stage.

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