A FLOOD order notice to promote the Langholm flood protection scheme is likely to be delayed until the end of July, it has been revealed.
The project team at Dumfries and Galloway Council continues to work on completing the flood order documents but the coronavirus crisis will have an impact on its progress.
Only when it is safe will the public be able attend another drop-in event to give their views on the flood order notice.
The documents being worked on include the legal notice, outline plans, flood modelling reports and the options/costings leading to the preferred scheme.
Langholm was identified as a potentially vulnerable area and was put forward by the council for 1 in 200-year flood defences.
Eighty per cent of the £8m cost will be borne by the Scottish government but the bid will have to compete with other communities around Scotland.
After the recent three-day option review and community engagement event in the Buccleuch Centre, the team’s preferred scheme is for direct defences, comprising walls and embankments, along with an overflow channel through Buccleuch Park to relieve flow on the Wauchope Water during high water.
In an update given to Langholm, Ewes and Westerkirk community council, Michael Smith, project manager, flood risk management team, said: “I can advise that the team are working on providing enhanced visuals of the scheme.
“We have received a request for a physical mock-up of the defences and will give this consideration as we progress with the scheme.
“In the meantime, we will review with the designers options for more “pedestrian-eye” views of the defences in the 3D model so these can be shared.
“We continue email discussions with various groups and residents after the engagement session to answer queries and give more details on the scheme
“This work can continue under current lockdown arrangements. Completing it will be the hold point until restrictions are relaxed, allowing the following stages of public engagement and formal publication.
“Before we publish the flood order the team will give a presentation to the ward councillors and community council followed by a drop-in session for the community with displays and information on the scheme and the flood order process.
“Before this, we will invite owners and/or occupiers of properties most affected, principally those on the river where there will be high or nearby defences, to meet the team to discuss the implications and, as far as possible, address any concerns.”
The next stage is to publish the flood order which entails making all documents and plans available to view for 28 days, during which people can make written representations.
More details are at www.dumgal.gov.uk/langholmfloodprotection
Langholm’s flood defences review group says it’s pleased to see some clarity emerging since raising concerns with the community council in February.
Considering the flood order completion target is the end of July, it has asked the team to clarify several matters.
These include whether the flood order has an expiry period if it is not implemented, what compensation package will be available to property owners or occupiers adversely affected, are any compulsory purchase orders anticipated and, if the order has no end date, will the permanent diminution in the value of properties be compensated?
Follow the Langholm flooding page on Facebook.