When Dumfries and Galloways Council’s Economy Environment and Infrastructure Committee meet on 23 November Members will be updated on the progress of the Newton Stewart and Langholm Flood prevention schemes.
The Newton Stewart scheme has been progressing since it was first identified as a priority in 2016. Extensive work has been carried out, with surveys and ground investigations being undertaken to inform the final design. These designs were displayed at public consultation events in Newton Stewart with 124 people attending over three days. Feedback from questionnaires handed out at the event showed:
• 100% wanted to see a flood protection scheme provided
• 82% agreed the approach taken in developing the scheme
• 68% agreed that all available options to address the flooding were included and considered.
Work is progressing well on the scheme with the finalised scheme drawings and documents for the flood order to be completed this month. Reviewed costs will be reported in January 2019 and engagement with affected owners and key groups is due to take place from January to March 2019. Works on the whole scheme, including the building of the replacement Sparling Bridge, are expected to be completed in August 2019.
Langholm was identified as a Potentially Vulnerable Area (PVA) in the National Flood Risk Assessment published by SEPA in December 2011.
Langholm is located at the confluence of three rivers: the Esk, Wauchope Water and Ewes
Water and, according to the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment, Langholm has more properties at risk of flooding than any other town in Dumfries and Galloway: with 524 properties within the 0.5% AEP flood inundation zone. (Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) – the likelihood of occurrence of a flood of given size or larger occurring in any one year.)
RPS Consultants, who were appointed by the Council to undertake Flood Modelling in the town, finalised their report in June 2017. A ‘Long List’ of options was produced and analysed to identify deliverable and preferred options.
An initial meeting will take place in Langholm between Dumfries and Galloway Council, Langholm Community Council and consultants RPS. The first formal meeting to review options will take place in December with representatives from SEPA, Scottish Water, Scottish Natural heritage and other interested stakeholders. Following this, initial options will be developed, taken forward to outline design, and shared at a public engagement event in February 2019.
Chair of Economy, Environment and infrastructure Committee, Archie Dryburgh said: “These Flood Risk Management Schemes are vital to our communities in preparation for both current and future flooding dangers. Warnings about climate change need to be heeded, and we must prepare accordingly. We take our duties seriously, and schemes such as these are all about protecting, not only our people, but also homes and properties in these flood risk areas. I am glad now that we can move forward with this in Langholm for the whole area and also the work starting up in Holmwood in the New year”
Vice Chair, Andrew Wood said: “Flood risk is a real issue for a number of communities within our region, but it is not only about the safety of our communities, as a Council we also have a number of legal duties which we must adhere to which includes assessing bodies of water and managing the risk of flooding. Identification is only the start, and investment in these schemes provides long term protection for all.”