£41m plans for flood defences in Hawick spark almost 50 objections

Damage caused by December 2015's floods in Hawick.
Damage caused by December 2015's floods in Hawick.
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Hawick’s proposed £41m flood protection scheme has triggered almost 50 objections.

The exact nature of those objections to the scheme, currently in its outline design stage, will be available for public inspection online at www.hawickfloodscheme.com and in person at Scottish Borders Council’s Hawick contact centre from Friday of next week.

Flooding in Hawick the winter before last.

Flooding in Hawick the winter before last.

It’s all part of the complex and necessarily protracted nature of developing a scheme aimed at protecting 900 town properties from the devastating impact of flooding.

It has also been announced that a public meeting will be staged in the town at the end of this month at which the project team will fully update Teries on what happens next.

Meanwhile, the flood protection scheme team continue to consider the protests registered during the 28-day objection period that concluded on May 29 this year.

During that period, the proposed scheme was available for public inspection and anyone was entitled to object to it.

Following assessment of the positive, negative and general inquiries received during the objections period, the council determined that a total of 48 valid objections had been received.

The objection period is one part of the process for obtaining confirmation of a flood protection scheme.

This is a formal process identified within the 2009 Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act.

However, it is not the only approval that is required, as the scheme must also obtain others including a licence from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

The project team will also hold an additional public meeting at Hawick Town Hall on Thursday, August 31 at 7pm.

This meeting is open to all and will see the project team provide an update and take part in a question-and-answer session.

Team members will also hold site walks for the public on Tuesday, August 29, and Wednesday, August 30, at 6.30pm each night.

The site walk on August 29 will provide a tour of the Lawson Bridge to Victoria Bridge stretch of the river, while the August 30 walk evening will tour the river from Mart Street Bridge to Mansfield Bridge.

These evenings are intended to allow the project team to clarify the proposed scheme to the public and to gain further insight into the views of the Hawick people about the project.

Project manager Conor Price said: “The project team has always recognised that developing a flood protection scheme to protect the town of Hawick would be hugely complex and a major challenge.

“The development of the design since October 2010 has always recognised both the challenges and the opportunities. The design has continuously evolved over that time through an open, consultative framework with key stakeholders and the people of Hawick, and it is very important to note that the scheme’s design will continue to evolve on this basis.

“The proposed scheme is based only on an outline design, and the detailed design is yet to be undertaken.

“We are now working to bring all of this together so that the scheme that is presented to council for approval this autumn is the best combination of options that will see the flood risk to Hawick substantially reduced.

“The upcoming public meeting and site tours are being held to allow the project team to continue this discussion with the people of Hawick. Please come along and let us know what you think.”