D&G Flood Risk Management Plan to be published

At the meeting of the Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure  (EEI) committee on 14 June, Members will note the approval of the local Flood Risk Management Plan.  The plan will be published on 22 June.  As a result, the development and delivery of flood protection schemes at Langholm and Newton Stewart (as well as the previously agreed Whitesands flood protection scheme) and completion of flood protection works at Stranraer will now be progressed.

As the lead authority, Dumfries and Galloway Council has to produce a Local Flood Risk Management Plan (LFRMP) for the Solway Local Plan District (LPD).  This LFRMP has been produced in partnership with SEPA and the appropriate authorities (namely Scottish Borders Council, Easy Ayrshire Council, Scottish Water and Forestry Commission Scotland).  At EEI committee in July 2015, Members agreed to a number of actions that the Council would deliver to manage flood risk as part of this plan.  These actions included:

·         The delivery of the Whitesands flood protection scheme

·         The development and delivery of flood protection schemes at Langholm and Newton Stewart

·         Completion of flood protection works at Stranraer

·         Development work on the Carsphairn Flood Study – if a scheme is proven to be deliverable, to lobby the Scottish Government for grant funding to support the scheme.

·         A refresh of the Shoreline Management plan

·         The delivery of flood studies for Kirkconnel, Moffat, Creetown, Dalbeattie and Moniaive

·         Region wide actions to help with flood protection including resilience plans created for over 80 towns and villages across the region and awareness raising of protection available for households

·         The support of two flood action groups

This information was presented to Members at the March EEI committee meeting and they agreed the delivery of all the actions outlined in the FRMS.

All four flood protection schemes will be eligible for funding of 80% of scheme costs from the Scottish Government.  The remaining 20% of the costs will require to be met by the Council.  The 20% Council contribution for the Whitesands project has already been committed to as part of the Administration’s Capital Investment Funding Strategy (which was agreed by all Councillors as part of the budget).  The Council’s flooding revenue and capital budgets are being used to develop Newton Stewart and Langholm projects with a further report being presented to a future meeting of Policy and Resources to request the 20% council contribution once robust designs  have been completed.

Chair of the Council’s EEI committee, Colin Smyth, said “Storm Frank and Storm Desmond really impacted our towns and villages at the start of this year, resulting in severe flooding, people having to leave their homes for days and businesses closed when flood waters devastated properties. Those events will hopefully focus everyone’s mind on the need to take forward key flood prevention schemes.  This local flood risk management plan confirms our commitment to take action across the region to help stop flooding and protect communities.

It will also put in place a process to allocate council funding towards flood prevention schemes in Langholm and Newton Stewart , to add to the funding already allocated to Whitesands. The Government have come to an agreement with COSLA to provide funding for schemes across Scotland including these three in Dumfries and Galloway. However, that will only cover 80% of the costs, so the council will have to allocate the remaining 20%”.

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