Leeds City Council is inviting consultants to design a flood relief scheme. No construction funding has yet been agreed, but local land deals are already being struck in Kirkstall. It is important to engage quickly, otherwise we may find that the scheme has gone too far to incorporate local views. Be careful what you wish! People are presently talking about environmentally-friendly upstream measures, but it is not yet certain that these are feasible, or at an affordable price. Even the celebrated Pickering scheme gives limited protection and includes a large reinforced concrete component. We could be back to old-fashioned flood walls sooner than people expect.
There is a possibility that flood relief might fund improved riverside sports facilities and better public access to the river banks. This won’t happen unless people put it on their shopping list from an early date.
Prime location for a new foot / cycle bridge would be at St Ann’s Mills (back of Morrison’s Supermarket) which would give access to the Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve from the Kirkstall side of the river. This would cost about £200,000 – peanuts when compared with the multi-million costs for the flood relief scheme.