Brighouse Flood Alleviation Scheme

The Environment Agency (EA) is working in partnership with Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council (CMBC) to develop a Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) for Brighouse. Potential options for the scheme include improvements to existing defences, the development of new defences, and improvements to channel capacity and storage.

Scheme updates

Drone Survey

The Environment Agency have organised for a drone survey of the River Calder (around Cromwell Bottom) and Clifton Beck (from Bailiff Bridge to the north of Wellholme Park) to be undertaken as part of the Brighouse Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS). This will support the design and visualisation of the FAS. Where access to private land is required, Notices of Entry have been sent to landowners. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with the team at

Gauging station

We have installed a temporary gauging station at Bailiff Bridge to improve our understanding of the river flows down Clifton Beck and to calibrate the model we are using to develop Brighouse FAS. We will gather data over several months to ensure we have sufficient levels to enable this to happen.

Coronavirus response

We hope everyone is staying safe and looking after each other during these difficult times.

We were sorry to have to postpone our flood drop-in sessions. As an organisation, together with our delivery partners Arup and BAM Nuttall, we are abiding by the measures set by the Government during the COVID-19 outbreak and have postponed or cancelled all public meetings for the time being.

If you have any questions or concerns, or any evidence of the flooding that you wish to share with us, please contact us at

Please be assured that we are doing all we can to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on the development and delivery of the Brighouse FAS. We have recently made progress on developing our model for the scheme and hope to have outline plans developed in the coming months.

Keep up to date with the latest FAS developments through social media and by checking Eye on Calderdale. For any specific queries, the team can be reached at

Past flood incidents

In recent years, businesses and the local community have been impacted by devastating flood incidents which have severely affected the local economy, in 2012 and on Boxing Day 2015, and in February 2020.

The flooding also adversely impacted local infrastructure, making the main route to the M62 and the roads to Elland, Huddersfield and Bradford impassable. Extensive parts of the flood defences along the River Calder throughout Brighouse were damaged.

The scheme

The EA and CMBC are working to develop a flood alleviation scheme to improve resilience to flooding in Brighouse. 

Potential options include but are not limited to: upstream storage in Wellholme Park, the replacement or repair of existing defences along the River Calder, construction of flood walls along Clifton Beck, and widening the channels to help prevent Clifton Beck and River Calder from overflowing.

As well as reducing the risk of flooding to homes and businesses, the scheme will also have environmental benefits along the Clifton Beck Catchment by creating and enhancing natural habitats, biodiversity and the connection between rivers and flood plains to improve ecology and supplement Natural Flood Management (NFM) measures. This complements the existing Calder Greening Project.

An initial map of the extent of the scheme can be seen below. This should be used as a guide only as a final scheme boundary will be determined once options for the scheme have been finalised.


The scheme for Brighouse will primarily better protect local businesses from the risk of river flooding and support locally and regionally significant plans for economic regeneration and new housing. Due to the economic benefits of the scheme, the project team are working with a number of partners to secure funding. These include West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), Yorkshire Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (YRFCC), Highways England, European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and local businesses. The EA and CMBC have also been successful in securing additional funding from the government to deliver flood risk alleviation schemes across Calderdale. 

What is the EA doing now?

The Environment Agency is currently reviewing the design and construction programme dates with our new contractors (Arup and BAM Nuttall). The programme will be influenced by issues such as the complexity and scale of the final design scope, the outcome of further ground investigations, and whether planning permission is required. We have already started  a programme of vegetation clearance ahead of the ground investigation works. 

Proposed dates at this time are:

Winter/Spring 2020 – Ground investigation works: This involves undertaking ground investigation works (drilling boreholes - narrow shafts in the ground) to establish the condition of the flood defences already in place. We are working with landowners whose land will be directly affected by this work. 
Spring 2021 – Outline Business Case approval
Spring 2022 – Full Business Case approval
Summer 2022 – Construction commences
Summer 2023 – Construction complete

Contact us

For any enquiries please email: 
Or call: National Customer Contact Centre on 03708 506 506
If you need to report a blockage, collapsed or badly damaged river banks, unusual changes in flow or flooding from the sea or main river please call the Environment incident hotline Telephone (24 hour service) 0800 80 70 60
Check your flood risk at: 
If you are at risk from river flooding, you can sign up to receive flood warnings by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188, or registering at

Updated March 2021