Calderdale Floods Newsletter

Your latest update on flood recovery and resilience work across Calderdale from Calderdale Council

Timescales extended for property flood grants

Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has agreed to extend the timescale for Calderdale residents and businesses to apply for funding to undertake flood resilience works in their properties. The Property Flood Resilience (PFR) Recovery Support Scheme has now been re-opened for expressions of interest.

The purpose of the scheme is to help those affected by the February 2020 flooding to improve the flood resilience of their properties. Grants of up to £5,000 are available to assist people whose properties are eligible for the scheme. To find out if you are eligible, you can visit the Calderdale Council website to read the guidance notes. If eligible, you can complete the Expression of Interest form online. This process must be completed on or before Saturday 31 October 2020 as this extended period will be closed to new applications from that date.

PFR grants are only normally available to ‘first time’ applicants. Properties which have previously benefitted from a recovery grant will only be eligible for further support in exceptional circumstances. All such requests will be considered on a case by case basis.

Eligible applicants will need to appoint a competent flood assessor or surveyor. You can find a surveyor yourself or Calderdale Council can assist you with this process. If you would like to use this service or receive further information please email pfrassistance@calderdale.gov.uk.

Mytholmroyd FAS moves steps closer to completion

Works at five new areas of the £35m Mytholmroyd Flood Alleviation Scheme are now complete:

  • Greenhill Industrial Estate
  • St Michael’s Church
  • River Calder and Cragg Brook Confluence
  • White Lee Clough
  • Brearley Fields Canal Spillway

The whole scheme is expected to be finished by the end of the year. For more details on progress of the new flood defences, visit Eye on Calderdale.

The flood defences have been developed by the Environment Agency in partnership with Calderdale Council. Design and construction of the scheme is being carried out by main contractor VBA, a joint venture comprising VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business.

The programme has received £2.5 million funding from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.

New flood containers for hillside communities:
Update from Andrew Entwistle, chair of Hebden Bridge flood wardens

We flood wardens have long been aware that flooding not only affects the valley bottom but also our many lovely hillside communities. To that end we have been working towards identifying areas that suffer as water cascades off the fields and moors. One resident we spoke to remarked, ‘we opened the back door and the front door to simply allow the deluge to flow through the house.’

It was such a situation that prompted us to redouble our efforts to provide some basic equipment at suitable sites with the assistance of local residents. Calderdale had available several confiscated clothing donation containers which we have adapted, painted and equipped with some 70 sandbags, brushes, shovels and sack trucks to enable local folk to protect their homes. The New Delight and Colden School are the sites for the first of these containers where we hope the local folk will take ownership of them.

It would be remiss of me not to thank all the council staff who have assisted us to re-cycle these containers for the use of our communities. Should other communities wish to have such containers please contact the Flood Group.

Calderdale to bid for innovative resilience funding

In March, the government announced £5.2 billion funding for flood defences in England. As part of this, £200 million will fund innovative projects that improve all aspects of flood resilience and benefit all parts of the community. More information on this fund has recently become available and Calderdale Council will submit an expression of interest in the hope of accessing a portion of it.

It is hoped that this will fund a combination of actions to improve our resilience, including projects to further build resilience in our community and develop the natural flood management work already happening in Calderdale. The funders are seeking innovative projects and partnerships across sectors. Utilising the Calderdale Flood Action Plan, we will demonstrate how we will build on existing work and partnerships to deliver a suite of innovative work that will help develop our resilience to flooding going forward.

25 local authorities are expected to be funded, and those that are successful are expected to start projects in Summer 2021. In addition to the 25 areas, ministers have chosen four places where they will look at climate change scenarios to identify decisions to be taken now and in future to manage the risk of flooding. Yorkshire is one of these areas, and we will provide evidence to inform the development of future flood policy and funding programmes after this programme ends in 2027.

Calderdale’s Widdop Moor slowing the flow with large-scale introduction of bunds

Moors for the Future Partnership, in collaboration with Walshaw Moor Estate and Yorkshire Water has constructed 15 peat bunds on the blanket bog on Widdop Moor. The bunds are expected to slow the flow of water off the hill, potentially reducing flooding further downstream. Bunds are long, low mounds of peat which retain water in shallow pools behind them – they can improve the health of blanket bogs, returning them to the healthiest conditions a bog can be in.

By holding more water in the area, and creating the right conditions for bog specialist plant-life to return, it is hoped that these bunds will have multiple benefits to society and wildlife, not only slowing the flow of water from the hills, but also improving water quality and boosting biodiversity. This is the first time that this NFM technique has been used on such a large scale on blanket peat.

Update on Hebden Bridge FAS

To inform the continuing design work and construction plans for the Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme, the Environment Agency’s delivery partners BAM Nuttall will be carrying out ground investigation and minor river channel works at a number of locations in the town over the coming months.

A key element of this will be the remediation of the Vale Centre site (Stubbing Holme Road), which is being used as a site compound during this early work to store materials and machinery.

By delivering these small elements ahead of the main scheme construction, the risk of unknowns ahead of construction commencement and the amount of time spent in these areas during the main construction phase can be minimised. The main construction work for the scheme is currently planned for summer 2021.

To keep updated about the scheme via email, you can sign-up to receive our newsletters by emailing ‘subscribe’ to HebdenBridgeFAS@environment-agency.gov.uk

Works at Shade Chapel, Todmorden complete

The emergency works at Shade Chapel, Todmorden to install temporary propping to the partially collapsed culvert on Walsden Water have now been completed.

The works to stabilise the culvert were essential to prevent the watercourse from becoming blocked. Significant damage to the culvert caused by the recent flooding events affected the culvert bed, walls and support beams beneath Shade Chapel.

The damage to the building has unfortunately proven to be unrecoverable and the temporary propping is not a long term solution for the culvert. The next stage will be to demolish Shade Chapel and open up this section of the culvert. This aims to provide a significant reduction in flood risk to the local area. The Environment Agency and partners held a public Zoom meeting recently to discuss the work in more detail with the local community.

For more information about work in this area, you can contact the project team.

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