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.

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, most recently in 2012 and on Boxing Day 2015.

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 begin: 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. 
Autumn 2020 – Outline Business Case approval
Late Autumn 2021 – Full Business Case approval
Winter/Spring 2022 – Construction begins
Autumn 2023 – Construction complete

Scheme updates

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 December 2019