Flood scheme update

ANGUS Council’s infrastructure services committee was meeting to discuss the updated position of the Brechin flood alleviation scheme as the Brechiner was going to press on Tuesday (yesterday).

The effectiveness of a flood alleviation scheme at River Street is interdependent upon Scottish Water’s sewer network which has combined storm overflows that feed the river.

Since the last committee report, Scottish Water has been passed the hydraulic model and is now undertaking further drainage infrastructure and urban pollution management modelling to address concerns raised by SEPA.

This study is being carried out alongside the integrated catchment modelling currently being undertaken by Angus Council’s consultant and is understood to be due for completion in March 2012.

The council and Scottish Water have been liaising and co-operating closely to share survey costs and results from their separate studies.

Fitment of non-return valves to prevent river water back-flowing into the city drainage system when the river is high has been discussed in detail with Scottish Water, but further investigations now being carried out are required before Scottish Water would be able to commit to fitting non-return valves on its drainage system.

Further detailed discussions will be necessary between both authorities but in the meantime the council will continue to develop the approved short term measures.

There remains no commitment from Scottish Water to funding any capital works required until these are fully defined.

A formal objection has been received to the scheme.

Angus Council’s head of roads is now in negotiations with the objector in an attempt to reach an agreement regarding the withdrawal of the objection.

However, the objector has indicated that he is unlikely to withdraw the objection.

Substantive discussions are ongoing with the aim of securing outline agreements with directly affected landowners regarding the scheme and the proposed accommodation works.

In addition, and given the sustained objection from a relevant land owner, consideration is being given to promoting Compulsory Purchase Orders.

Also given the objection it is considered likely that a Public Local Inquiry will be required to allow the Scottish ministers to make a decision on scheme.

Removal of sand and gravel will not take place in 2011 as the planning permission and CAR license have yet to be approved.

If all approvals are in place a contract can be let for the work to be carried out within the June to October 2012 period when engineering activities are allowed.

It is unclear at this stage whether there will be changes to the funding for flood protection schemes requiring capital investment beyond the means of current council funding allocations from Scottish Government.

The director of infrastructure services, in his report to committee, said: “General and Housing contains provision for the Brechin Flood Prevention Scheme, but required additional funding to be secured before the scheme can be implemented.

“The uncertainly regarding future funding allocations from Scottish Government raises very serious concerns over the future funding arrangements for the project as a whole and this needs continued careful consideration, which will be reported in future committee meetings.

“The development of the design and statutory approvals for the Brechin FPS continue and there has been progress made on associated development of the short-term protection measures and promotion of the removal of the gravel bank opposite River Street.”

The major additional funding to implement the Brechin FPS will be required in 2014/15 and in subsequent years. It is therefore proposed that a further detailed report be brought back to the committee following the publication of the detailed Spending review 2011 outcomes in November/December to consider the implications of the review on the future additional funding required.

The first phase of construction works has been scheduled for July 2014.