A PROJECT to prevent flooding in Holmwood in Langholm will not go ahead because it will be too expensive.
Dumfries and Galloway Council has decided that it can’t afford to spend £500,000 on protecting people’s homes from the surface water which runs down the hill and into their gardens before running down the road.
A report by Steven Herriott, head of roads and infrastructure, to the communities committee, revealed a design had been completed and the anticipated cost was about £500,000 which was far more than the initial estimate.
Mr Herriott said: “There is no funding identified for this estimated cost work and, furthermore, it would not be eligible for Scottish government grant-funding at 80 per cent because the benefit cost ratio is significantly below the threshold of 1.0.
“The flood risk management team is currently looking to offer flood resilience protection to any interested property and will engage with all the residents over the next year to enable us to monitor flood incidents and the effectiveness of the resilience measures.
“Given that a number of properties are owned by Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership, officers will engage with the registered social landlord in developing property flood resilience measures.
“Ward members and this committee will be kept advised of progress on these lower-cost intervention measures which will be met from the Flooding budget.”
Councillor Archie Dryburgh, Annandale East and Eskdale, said he would not give up on getting the work done.
He said the former environment and infrastructure committee had set aside £250,000 for the work and, while some of that had been spent on a survey, he wanted to find out where the rest of the money was.
He believed it could have been spent on another project.
At one point, the Holmwood project was included in the main Langholm flood protection scheme.
If it had been a stand-alone project, it would not have met the criteria for the government funding.
He said: “We have to have another discussion about Holmwood and the flood team will speak to residents.
“There’ve been hardly any complaints over the past couple of years but we’ve not had the same amount of rain which caused massive problems in the past.
“I hope residents will tell the team what the issues are so we can move forward with it. It’s taken far too long to get anything done.
“I would like to see something in place to reduce the chance of the worst happening.
“We also need to wait and see what will happen with the flood protection scheme (for the Esk) and whether it can be fitted in there.
“I’ll keep on fighting until something is done.”
The ward members have been kept up to date with progress on the flood protection scheme by officers.
The scheme’s publication is scheduled for September or October 2022.
Mr Herriott said: “This will follow a period of engagement with the community later this year and the completion of the required Environmental Impact Assessment.
“Consultation with those directly affected by the works and the necessary mitigation measures will be undertaken in Q2 and Q3 of 2022.
“These stages are affected by the possible need for an inquiry or hearing.
“The project plan, with timescales, will be updated when there is sufficient clarity from which to develop the appropriate project management arrangements.”
The flood team is also installing CCTV cameras at the golf course because of surface water flooding emanating from the course.
The work will establish the route(s) of drainage in the area.