Talks ongoing to find funding for flood defences to protect homes in Elland

Discussions are ongoing to see if a scheme can be funded to help residents whose properties flood in Elland.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 7:00 am

Park Road has been badly affected by flooding, including damage done when Storm Ciara hit Calderdale in February 2020.

Homes were impacted heavily and landslip damage has caused part of the road to be closed since – Calderdale Council announcing today it is on track to re-open this winter amid a comples repair.

Proposals were drawn up for an Elland Flood Alleviation Scheme but initially abandoned as the cost-benefit ratio funding requirement could not be met.

Flooding in Elland after storm Ciara. Photo: Ellie Miller

But Coun Angie Gallagher (Lab, Elland) asked flood board representatives if there had been any progress on reviewing the issue.

“In terms of insurance, people have been told they are uninsurable now,” she said.

Coun Gallagher said it looked like the board was pulling Elland out of the scheme unless there was a big programme review

Calderdale Council’s Flood Programme manager, Neil Fearnley, said the original scheme looked to try and contain the River Calder in its channel – in times of flood it has overflowed into the Calder and Hebble Navigation canal and then onto Park Road, affecting properties which did not previously flood.

“We are looking at what other options are available and a meeting has been set up with the agencies to see what options we have. It is imminent,” he said.

Coun Gallagher said the situation was affecting people’s health.

“You can’t measure misery with money,” she said.

Jo Arnold, of the Environment Agency, said agencies recognised the need to reduce the flooding risk in the area – further modelling had been done which showed even if the risk from the canal was reduced there might still be surface water issues.

“There is a commitment on our part to progress next to business case, looking at all aspects of flooding. Park Road is very much on our radar,” she said.

Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said it was not easy because of funding criteria and it had taken time to get the money for the now-completed Mytholmroyd scheme.

“But we are really in here fighting for it,” she said.

Coun Scullion said the Flood: Re scheme set up by the Government helped with flood insurance but the difficulty for many people was being able to afford the excess and when Floods

Minister Rebecca Pow had visited Hebden Bridge recently that issue had been taken up again.

Coun Susan Press (Lab, Todmorden), whose own home had been flooded, said she had had to pay that and it was very expensive. Often the most vulnerable were hardest hit, she said.

Coun Gallagher was chairing Calderdale Council’s Flood Scrutiny Panel, which acts as a watchdog on the full Calderdale Flood Recovery and Resilience Programme Board, whose members include the council, the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water.

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