Preventing surface water flooding key part of £27m defences in Hebden Bridge

Trying to prevent surface water flooding – which has become a major issue – is one of the key components of a £27 million flood alleviation scheme.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 25th April 2022, 8:24 pm

When discussing reports on flooding in March 2019 and February 2022, Flood Warden Katie Kimber told flood board partners there had been an increase in surface water flooding in Hebden Bridge in the second incident.

She described the impact witnessed by the volunteer wardens when they were out on the day.

“We have seen an increase in surface water flooding issues and, from being on the ground, it was so difficult for people to manage.

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Businesses in Market Street, Hebden Bridge fight back the flood water

“A lot in my report centres around the drainage and what the public and volunteers are saying about those drains,” she said.

Ms Kimber said there was also an issue of how to alert people to surface water flooding – the warning system was based around fluvial (river) gauges.

“it is how those triggers are relayed and how we can better manage those relating to surface water,” she said.

Coun Scott Patient (Lab, Luddenden Foot) and Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said schemes were moving on to look at the pluvial – surface water – effects of flooding events and their impact on highways, property and infrastructure.

This would include clarity about what was under the roads – Ms Kimber had referred to the need to know who was responsible for what in terms of “ancient drainage”.

Calderdale Council’s highways and transportation lead Steven Lee and Yorkshire Water’s Granville Davies said they would work on a report detailing this information for the board.

A catchment model to tackle surface water flooding has been completed, Calderdale Flood Recovery and Resilience Board heard.

A planning application which will cover most of the Hebden Bridge work is expected to be submitted later in the year.

A public information event will be held ahead of planning submission to share proposals and the Environment Agency and engineers Bam Nuttall are working to establish a Calder Valley Engagement Hub, along the lines of one which worked so well in the completed Mytholmroyd scheme, for the various flood alleviation schemes.

And from spring onwards, Environment Agency and Bam Nuttall staff will be available to speak to at Hebden Bridge Town Hall on Mondays and Thursday ahead of this.

Some of the early scoping and survey work on Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme, and related schemes for Erringden hillside and the Stubbing Holme Road part of town began last autumn.

In terms of the main scheme, fluvial design to strengthen river defences is also mainly completed.

Paul Swales of the Environment Agency said detailed work had been completed on the detailed designs relating to the confluence of the River Calder and Hebden Water so detailed costings could be produced.

Permanent works to the wall at the Adult Learning Centre, as part of the Stubbing Holme Road scheme, have already started and should be finished in June.

Discussions have been ongoing with Canal & River Trust regarding the design and delivery of the canal overflow at the Vale Centre site.

The planning application for the Stubbing Holme scheme is forecast to be finalised and submitted this summer with works proposed to commence in the autumn.

Detailed design on the Erringden Flood Alleviation Scheme is broadly complete, the board heard and planning permission is also likely to be sought in the summer.