OTLEY is set to get a £3.3 million flood defence scheme.

Leeds City Council has been working on plans ever since the town suffered three floods at the end of 2015.

It has now agreed on measures it believes will provide protection against a ‘one in 25 years’ flood - and senior councillors are expected to back the plans this week.

The scheme involves building an embankment to the west of Billams Hill that would run all the way from Otley Bridge to gardens at Newall Mount.

The council has up to £2 million of government funding available but estimates that it will need a further £1,374,000 to cover the costs. Its Executive Board was set to underwrite the funding shortfall, and approve an outline business case, at its meeting on Wednesday, June 26.

Executive member for Environment and Active Lifestyles, Councillor Mohammed Rafique, said: “The Otley Flood Alleviation Scheme has a vital role to play in providing protection and reassurance for residents and businesses in the town against the growing threat of extreme weather events and flooding from the River Wharfe.

“Together with all the programme of flood works we have happening across the city, projects like this underline our commitment to tackling flood threat in all of our vulnerable communities, taking a comprehensive and catchment-wide approach to providing the best level of protection as soon as we can.”

The flood embankment at Otley would be supported by the management of vegetation on the islands downstream of Otley Weir..

The project - the result of detailed research by the council, Environment Agency and engineering consultants WSP - is expected to offer protection against a ‘one in 25 year flood’.

That is above the record level of flooding that Otley suffered on Boxing Day, 2015, when 74 properties flooded.

For reactions see page 3.