Leeds & West Yorkshire

Flood defences promised for Calder Valley

Mytholmroyd floods Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mytholmroyd suffered severe flooding in December's floods

New flood defences will be built in parts of West Yorkshire devastated by the Christmas floods, it has been announced.

Houses and businesses in Mytholmroyd had to be evacuated when the River Calder bursts its banks on 26 December.

Environment secretary Elizabeth Truss made the promise of new defences while visiting the area earlier.

Work could start as early as the summer and a plan for the whole Calder Valley will go to Parliament in October.

Ms Truss told BBC Look North: "Calder Valley was one of the worst affected areas.

"I'm talking to local councillors, MPs and residents about what needs to be done to make sure the Calder Valley is protected in future and I'm committed to doing that.

"We need to look at the whole [area] and what we can do improve the defences in towns like Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge."

'Two pronged attack'

Thousands of properties were damaged when Storm Eva battered the north of England during December's floods.

A plan for Mytholmroyd, which is still recovering, will be drawn up by May and could include plans to raise walls, said Ms Truss.

A more detailed plan for the area will look at improving defences in Hebden Bridge and at slowing down the flow of water in other parts of the valley.

Craig Whittaker, MP for the Calder Valley, said it was a "two-pronged attack" which would help protect the area from future floods.

"It's a huge step forward. This is the first time any government has decided we will have the plans we need."

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