Thursday, February 10, 2011

Leeds city centre flood scheme 'too costly'

Yorkshire Evening Post: A flood defence scheme designed to protect Leeds city centre from catastrophe stands no chance of being built unless its huge £190m price tag is dramatically reduced, a minister has said. Floods minister Richard Benyon likened the scheme to "a Rolls-Royce, where a reasonably priced family car might serve some of the purpose".

The project, which would be built along the River Aire and protect thousands of homes and businesses, was one of three Yorkshire schemes put on hold last week. The decision was yesterday put under the spotlight, first during exchanges in the Commons chamber and then later during a 90 minute debate in Westminster Hall.

Mr Benyon was warned that Leeds came within centimetres of a huge flood in 2000 and narrowly escaped widescale disaster during the extensive flooding of 2007. Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton and Leeds East MP George Mudie warned that the city's role as the economic engine room of Yorkshire would be threatened by a major flood….

The River Wharfe at Wetherby after September 2006 rains, shot by David Morris, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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