Residents of the h2010 development near Knostrop Cut on the River Aire are raising objections to part of the Flood Alleviation Scheme, which is currently going through the planning system.
Residents are concerned about the small basin known as Knostrop Quay River Arm, which is directly outside their homes. The plans suggest that this might be turned into a wetland habitat with a culvert linking it to the river, or more controversially filled in to create a garden area. Comments on the planning application close this Thursday (30 January 2014).
Peter Laslo, who lives in the H2010 development told South Leeds Life:
“Firstly we want some clarity – what exactly is being proposed? This arm of the river is full of wildlife with nesting swans and other birds. A wetland area sounds OK, but filling it in is not acceptable.
“People here paid a premium price for a riverside property. If this arm of the river is filled in we won’t have riverside properties any more.”
Another objection come from Aire Action Leeds, a partnership involving Leeds City Council, the Environment Agency, the Canal & River Trust and Yorkshire Water. They are similarly concerned about the vagueness of the plans for the river arm, but are also not keen on the Trans Pennine Trail being relocated to the north bank.
Residents acknowledge that the arm attracts litter and rubbish, but say they are prepared to volunteer to help keep it clear.
The Leeds flood plan includes removing the strip of land between the river and Knostrop Cut, part of the Aire and Calder Navigation, merging the two waterways and allowing water to move more swiftly out of the city centre. Currently the Trans Pennine Trail runs along this strip and the plans allow for this to be diverted to the north bank.
You can view full details of the plans via the Council website at https://publicaccess.leeds.gov.uk/online-applications/ then search for application number 13/03191/FU. Comments on the scheme can be submitted on the same site, but must be submitted by this Thursday (30 January 2014).
The entire flood defence scheme scheme will cost over £50m with £32.5m coming from the government. It is designed to protect 3,000 homes and 500 businesses (employing 18,000 people) from flooding. The current plans also include moveable weirs at Crown Point and Knostrop and remove the need for high flood walls in the city centre.