Work on Otley’s flood bank finally starts

My last look at the Cattle Market field before it’s transformed by a 1.2 metre high flood bank

Work on Otley Flood Defences at Bridge End Cattle Market have finally started today.  I know that the planned start has been delayed due to Covid and other reasons.  But our MP Alex Sobel has been involved in getting the Otley scheme moved up in the schedule – with success at last!

The plan is that building a flood bank on Billams Hill and cutting down the trees on the sandbanks below the weir is designed to protect houses below Otley Bridge. This should prevent a repeat of the Boxing Day floods in 2015, which drove some residents on Bridge Avenue and Farnley Lane out of their homes for months.

The scheme is led by Leeds City Council and the Environment Agency and it aims to reduce the risk of flooding from the current 20% to around 4% in any given year.

I know some residents are sceptical whether the scheme will work. If I’m elected to the city council, I will monitor the work closely and work with our MP, Leeds Flood Risk team, and the Environment Agency  to make sure the scheme stays on target. We’ll also need to keep an eye on the impact if there’s any flooding while the bank is being built. The role of a ward councillor must be to keep in close touch with residents and take action so any worries and problems during or after the construction works can be resolved quickly.

What do you think about the scheme? I’d like to hear from you if have any comments or concerns as the work gets under way.