Preventing flooding at River South Esk

A car is pictured stuck in the middle of the flood water at Brechin's River Street.
A car is pictured stuck in the middle of the flood water at Brechin's River Street.

Following the recent floods at River Street, residents may be relieved to know that the planning application to construct a flood defence barrier to include buried pumping stations will go forward to Angus Council’s Infrastructure Services committee on January 8 with the recommendation for its conditional approval.

Full planning permission is sought for the construction of a flood prevention scheme, with full height flood defences, along the north bank of the River South Esk and, if approval is given, the council can then bid for funding for the scheme from the Scottish Government.

The proposed works has been split into four distinct zones as follows.

Zone one comprises the western extent of the application site and runs from Ladeside Road over the Inch Park and to the south of properties on River Street to a point east of 32a River Street.

The main proposals for this area include the formation of an embankment running through the Inch Park and extending to a point east of the property at number 32a River Street.

This bund will be at a maximum height of 1.8 metres.

A buried pumping station, relocation and enhancement of play facilities and formation of a boat mooring area are also proposed.

Zone two comprises the area along River Street going east as far as Brechin Bridge.

The main proposals in this area are for a new flood defence wall, raised footway and railings on the south side of River Street.

A new buried pumping station (River Street East) is proposed adjacent to Brechin Bridge.

Zone three consists of the area from Brechin Bridge and along the south western corner of East Mill Caravan Park.

The main works here comprise the erection of a flood defence wall of approximately 1.2 metres in height on the existing embankment and a new pumping station at East Mill.

A new path is also proposed to the south of the wall.

Zone four runs from the northern edge of East Mill Caravan Park, to the rear or south of East Mill Industrial Estate and extends as far as the existing Scottish Water facilities.

The main works in this area comprise formation of embankments and flood wall.

Existing buildings require to be demolished in zone four in order to accommodate the works.

It is estimated that the construction of the Flood Prevention Scheme will take approximately 50 weeks.

Director of Angus Council’s Infrastructure Services said in his report to the committee: “Following an appraisal of a range of potential options the applicant has proposed the construction of defences along the north bank of the River South Esk as a preferred option.

“Social, environmental and economic benefits will be provided by addressing existing flooding issues and this is clearly in the wider public interest.”

Supporting the proposals for the Flood Defence Scheme was Brechin’s councillor Mairi Evans who commented: “Last week saw unparalleled flooding across Angus, with council staff and emergency services pushed to their limits for a number of days trying to deal with the situation as best they could.

“I would like to convey my huge thanks to all those involved for their relentless hard work in what was an extremely challenging time.

“However as stressful a time as it was for the services involved, I can only imagine how those living in River Street and in other areas affected by flooding must have felt living with that threat hanging over them for days, especially in the run up to Christmas.

“That’s twice in almost as many months that we have had to deal with serious events and the flood defence scheme is the only real chance we have to alleviate the problems in Brechin. Only with this can flooding events like those experienced last week be prevented.

“The scheme was held up with an objection which delayed the process for a number of years, but now that this has been removed we are progressing with this as quickly as we possibly can.

“The events of October and last week only go to emphasise how absolutely essential the flood prevention scheme is, and we met with the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Paul Wheelhouse MSP on Christmas Eve in River Street to show him the area, the damage, and to talk him through proposals for the scheme.”