Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme

Hebden Bridge is at risk from flooding from rivers, the Rochdale Canal and surface water. It is located in a steep sided valley where three rivers meet – River Calder, Hebden Water and Colden Clough. The Hebden Bridge Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) is currently being developed, led by the Environment Agency, to improve protection for 544 properties.
 
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
Construction in Hebden Bridge is currently expected to start by the end of 2020 - subject to the results of the detailed design process and consultation with local businesses and residents about the best time to carry out the work to minimise impact on the local economy.
 

Stubbing Holme Road

There are plans to help protect properties along Stubbing Holme Road from flooding by raising the existing wall heights.
 
However, as the design for the Hebden Bridge FAS has developed, the proposed scope of works has increased and costs have risen. This has caused the Stubbing Holme Road element of the scheme to be put on hold. The partnership has been working hard to secure further funding in order to deliver all proposed elements of the Hebden Bridge FAS. 
 
Following further government funding for Hebden Bridge, a full business case will now be developed for Stubbing Holme Road. As costs are finalised and results of further funding bids are known, a decision will be made about whether this element of the wider scheme can go ahead.
 

Working with the community

The Environment Agency regularly holds meetings with partners, local councillors and community representatives to provide them with updates on porgess of the scheme. 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 taken into account for the design.
 
 
If you have any questions about the scheme you can email the project team at hebdenbridgeFAS@environment-agency.gov.uk
 

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 is carrying out another reservoir trial in partnership with the Environment Agency to help reduce the risk of flooding in winter 2019/20.
 
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.