Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme

The Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme is currently being developed, led by the Environment Agency, to improve protection for approximately 400 properties.

Hebden Bridge canal on a summers day.
About the scheme

Hebden Bridge is at risk from flooding from rivers, the Rochdale Canal and surface water. It is in a steep sided valley where three rivers meet – River Calder, Hebden Water and Colden Clough.

The scheme will consist of:

  • Raising and strengthening river walls.
  • Using glass panels and raising barriers to minimise any intrusion on river views.
  • Improving protection to riverside properties.
  • Installing a canal overflow.
  • Improving the drainage of surface water with a series of gully systems and pumping stations.

Work began at the Vale Centre site on Stubbing Holme Road in April 2021 to repair the dilapidated wall and facilitate installation of the canal overflow. This will be followed by a phased approach to delivering the fluvial elements of the scheme. The project team are planning to hold a public information event to provide more information about the plans for the scheme later this year.

Latest information
Ground Investigation Work - Nov 21

As part of ongoing preparation for the flood alleviation scheme in Hebden Bridge, BAM Nuttall will be carrying out ground investigation and drainage surveys at several locations around the town over the coming months. By undertaking this work ahead of the main scheme, we will be able to reduce the risk of unknowns and the amount of time spent in these areas during the main construction phase. Some of the work may require restricted vehicular access and footpath diversions. We will try to keep disruption from all our work to a minimum and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. Click on the map below to see where the work will be taking place.

If you have any questions regarding the details provided on the map, please email us at HebdenBridgeFAS@environment-agency.gov.uk

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Hebden Bridge cinema and street under water following flooding.
Working with the community

The Environment Agency regularly holds meetings with partners, local councillors and community representatives to provide them with updates on progress of the scheme. A key stakeholder group has been set up - a list of represented groups can be found here. The project team has also taken part in community forums such as the Hebden Bridge Business Forum and the Disability Access Forum to get feedback on proposals for the scheme.

As details of the design of the scheme develop there will be further consultations with people who are affected to discuss proposals.

A consultation event with the local community was held in June 2017 and a report which includes all the public feedback is available here. This report has highlighted the issues we need to consider when developing the proposals for the scheme. Historic England and Calderdale planning officers have been consulted to ensure the scheme is sympathetic with the character of the town and heritage.

An initial public consultation was also carried out in 2018 on the Stubbing Holme Road proposals and feedback has been considered for the design.

Reservoirs

The Environment Agency is working with Yorkshire Water to investigate using reservoirs above Hebden Bridge to store water and help reduce flood risk.

Modelling, which looks at the flow of water, has identified that using 10 percent of the capacity of the Hebden Bridge group of reservoirs for flood storage could reduce the risk of flooding in the valley.

A trial was carried out during the winter of 2017/18 to study the impacts of lowering reservoir levels by preventing water flowing downstream during heavy rain. A further trial could not be carried out the following year due to a dry winter and reservoir levels remained below 90 percent until April 2019.

Following rainfall during summer 2019 and a rise in reservoir levels, Yorkshire Water carried out another reservoir trial in partnership with the Environment Agency to help reduce the risk of flooding in winter 2019/20.

Yorkshire Water continues to carry out reservoir trials in partnership with the Environment Agency. Further work has been commissioned to design and assess the cost of capital work to deliver a permanent solution. This will include an assessment of how the cost compares with benefits and further investigation of the legal and operational constraints of implementing these proposals. Environmental assessments, the impact of water resources, compensation and water resources licensing issues need to be agreed for the project to progress.

Officers are also working with partners who run natural flood management programmes in the Calder Valley to improve protection for the local community.

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