Flood wall to be fixed soon, says project’s boss

The stone cladding decorative wall, at the bottom of Corbylinn Road, is flaking away, just a year after it was built.
The stone cladding decorative wall, at the bottom of Corbylinn Road, is flaking away, just a year after it was built.

Selkirk flood protection scheme project manager Conor Price has pledged that issues such as the crumbling wall in the town’s Corbylinn Road will be fixed this summer.

Mr Price also insisted that the issue, raised by Anthony Jackson at last week’s meeting of Selkirk’s community council, is nothing to worry about, saying: “Issues like this are to be expected on a £32m major and complex civil engineering project.

“We understand the local concerns, but we would like to highlight that there is no impact on the ability of the scheme’s new defences to provide its designed level of protection to property in Selkirk.

“This issue is with the natural stone cladding only. The reinforced concrete flood wall remains unaffected. The masonry at this location will be repointed this summer.

“The scheme has approximately 6.5 km of new flood walls and embankments, and this is just one of a number of minor issues that the project team is aiming to resolve at this time.”

Mr Price said that construction snagging and local reinstatement are yet to be completed.

Mr Jackson also told community councillors that the curves built into the banking of the Long Philip Burn are eroding.

However, Mr Price says that was always the plan.

He said: “Angles Field has been turned into a new park for the local area, but this space is foremost a part of the burn’s reinstated natural flood plain. It will hold flood waters in a controlled space during flood events and, furthermore, the burn was designed so that it would be capable of moving around within that space.

“This ensures that the field will absorb water during heavy rainfall and save neighbouring properties and roads from flooding.

“The restoration of the burn has also been commended by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency as an excellent design, and the scheme has been awarded a Saltire Award for its environmental engineering.

“The project team is delighted to see the constructed curves are breaking-up and that the burn is finding its own natural flow-paths through the space that was engineered.

“We hope this evolution from engineered restoration to natural river-burn corridor will continue over the coming years.”

Mr Price added: “It is worth noting that the scheme has already proven its worth by protecting various areas of Selkirk from flooding on a number of occasions since it was completed in December 2016, the latest being on January 24. Had the defences not been in place, areas of Bannerfield and Philiphaugh would have flooded.

“As well as protecting around 600 homes and businesses from major flood events, the Selkirk flood protection scheme has also provided various benefits for the local community, including the introduction of 6,000 metres of footpaths and parks and five footbridges which allow walkers and cyclists to explore Selkirkshire’s beautiful countryside.”