Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy , Environment and Infrastructure Committee (Tuesday 15 September) will consider a report on the next steps for the Whitesands Project.
The report follows the most recent round of public consultation earlier this year. Council officers have now used the feedback from the consultation to refine the project further and councillors are being asked to agree to a further round of public engagement on the refined options. These options are set out in detail in the report that will go before councillors.
The chairman of the Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee, Colin Smyth, said, “This is a really important project so it is vital that the best option possible is agreed when a decision is made by councillors in the months ahead. The project is continually evolving and a lot of work has been done by council officers and the experts employed from a range of companies to ensure the feedback from public engagement continues to be fed into refining the designs and options. I think there is now a public understanding that all the studies have shown that, unfortunately, options such as dredging and storing floodwater upstream will not tackle the larger floods on the Whitesands and there is a need for physical flood prevention measures on both sides of the river through the town. The feedback also showed a recognition that the project is about more than just flood prevention but also the wider regeneration of the Whitesands, in particular the need to make the fantastic asset that is our riverside an area that is attractive to visit both for local people and tourists. The latest refined options offer some positive solutions to tackle concerns over the potential visual impact of the project and, in some cases, actually improve the current river views which are blocked by walls, which will be removed. The options also ensure that the clear direction from councillors that there should not be less car parking will form part of any scheme. I appreciate that some people will simply be against whatever is proposed but the reality is Dumfries is the largest town in Scotland where we do not yet have a proper flood prevention scheme. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to get rid of that record but more importantly to regenerate our riverside. Councillors will be asked to agree to a further opportunity for public consultation on the latest options before any decisions are made to ensure that it is the views of the public that drive the project until we get the best possible solution.”
For full report see agenda item 10: http://egenda.dumgal.gov.uk/aksdumgal/users/public/admin/kab14.pl?operation=SUBMIT&meet=12&cmte=EEI&grpid=public&arc=71