In the UK flood risk is increasing. On 26 December 2015 Leeds experienced significant and widespread flooding with some of the highest river levels ever recorded. The flooding affected more than 2,000 residential properties. The Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme (LFAS) came about to reduce widespread flooding happening in the future.
LFAS Phase 1 is one of the largest river flood defence projects in the country. The first phase reduces the flood risk of over 3,500 residential and commercial city centre properties. One of the key components of the project was the replacement of existing fixed Victorian weirs at two locations with innovative mechanical weirs, placing Leeds at the cutting edge of national flood defence schemes. They used pioneering technology which was the first of its kind for a protection scheme in the UK, and has attracted interest both nationally and internationally.
Ecological enhancements have also been introduced through the creation of fish spawning habitats and diverse flow conditions, complemented by new fish, otter and elver passes at both of the weirs, which resulted in salmon being spotted through the city centre for the first time in over 200 years.
This project won the Large Project of the Year at the NEC Awards 2017.