£44m Hawick river defence plans offer hope to victims, says chairman

Flooding victims of past years in Hawick will finally be able to look forward to sleeping easy in their beds now £44m river defences have been approved, one of the driving forces behind the project believes.

Monday, 1st January 2018, 1:15 pm
Updated Monday, 1st January 2018, 1:20 pm
Hawick Volunteer Flood Group chairman Stuart Marshall.

Scottish Borders Council gave the the thumbs-up to the flood protection scheme at its latest full meeting, as reported in the Southern at the time.

That’s been a long-time coming for Hawick Volunteer Flood Group chairman Stuart Marshall.

Residents and businesses in Mansfield Road, Duke Street, Sandbed, Commercial Road and Victoria Road are “over the moon to hear that after nearly 12 years of waiting, works will soon commence on this massive project”, he said.

Mr Marshall, also a councillor for Hawick and Denholm, added: “The campaign for Hawick to be protected against flooding was born from a public meeting in the town hall a few weeks after the devastating floods that ruined parts of our town on October 12, 2005, when the Teviot peaked at a record 3.33m at 2.15am.

“The volunteer flood group was set up immediately afterwards and has since gone from strength to strength.

“The final approval at council will now see the flood scheme officially confirmed and approval sought to continue with the detailed design and also undertake the procurement of appointing a mains works contractor.

“This really is a very critical stage for our town, and this news will now hopefully see further exploratory work being undertaken throughout the town to see what is beneath the soil and current infrastructure ahead of the scheme proper commencing.

“Whilst all of us in the town must fully accept that this huge project will inevitably result in some major disruption during its construction, we must also at the same time remember that, on completion, it will protect nearly 1,000 homes and commercial properties.

“I, for one, can’t wait for the day when those poor flood victims who are constantly having their homes ruined by floodwater can finally sleep easy in their beds without fear of their lives being turned upside down yet again.”