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 approximately 400 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
Work is commencing at the Vale Centre site, Stubbing Holme Road in April 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

July 21 - Vale Centre Remedial Work
The works at the ALC have been paused temporarily whilst changes are made to the current design of the new ALC wall. The reason for the change in design is that, during investigation works it has found that, because of the age and in-particular the construction of Stubbing Holme Road bridge below ground level, the current design could not be facilitated easily. We are therefore reassessing the wall design to an alternative method of construction that will reduce the extent of site operations, greater co-ordination with the existing bridge structure, whilst still achieving the level of protection required in the original timeframe.
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Early Work Google Map 

Our delivery partners BAM Nuttall are currently undertaking a number of activities or ‘early works’ which can be delivered under Permitted Development, (where planning permission is not required).  These involve ground investigations, CCTV culvert surveys and minor in channel works.

The minor works, include repointing and installation of flap valves and utility diversions in preparation for later installation of the raising flood barrier defences.  A key element of the work will be the remediation of the Vale Centre site (Stubbing Holme Road) which will be used as a site compound during this early work to store materials and machinery.

Any disruption to the general community whilst this work takes place will be kept to a minimum.  By delivering these small elements ahead of the main scheme construction we will be able to reduce the risk of unknowns ahead of construction commencement and minimise the amount of time spent in these areas during the main construction phase.  The main construction work for the scheme is currently planned for summer 2021.

We have developed a google map to show this work in more detail. The map is now available by clicking on the image below and allows you to select a location to access a description and approximate duration of the work taking place.  We will keep this map updated as work progresses. 

The map can be viewed by clicking here

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

Working with the community

The Environment Agency regularly holds meetings with partners, local councillors and community representatives to provide them with updates on progess of the scheme. A key stakeholder group has been established - 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 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


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.