FLOODING RISKS – QUESTION TO FULL COUNCIL

I raised a question in the last Full Council on whether Leeds has allocated adequate resources to protecting outlying areas of the city from flooding.

The requirement to build thousands of new homes over the next 15 years means that some areas of the city will be at greater risk from flooding.

Whilst welcoming the funding that has been secured to protect the city centre, I am concerned that more investment is needed in other areas of the City too. 

Over the next 16 years 11,400 additional houses are planned for East Leeds, an area which only six months ago was a foot deep in water.  It is not sufficient, therefore, to commit funding only to the centre of Leeds.

Overall 16% of the 70,000 new homes are expected to be built on greenbelt land, and a further 14% on greenfield sites, the additional areas of concrete and tarmac increasing the risk of flooding, as the land absorbs less rainfall.

What we must do, as a Council, is to ensure that developers, particularly those who seek to build on greenbelt and greenfield sites, adequately contribute towards the cost of flood risk management across the whole of Leeds, now and in years to come. I want to see the Council really take this issue by the horns. If we ignore the risks associated with flooding on developable land, we run the risk of storing up problems for the future that will dwarf our current difficulties.