Approval sought for Jedburgh flood solution

Councillors heard last week that major work to mitigate the risk of further serious flooding in Jedburgh is likely to start next summer.

Local councillor Sandy Scott commented: “This is welcome news, particularly for those residents and businesses who have endured so much misery in the past.”

He was commending a unanimously-approved report at last week’s full council meeting outlining a range of measures to solve the problem of the Skiprunning Burn – a fast-flowing tributary of the Jed Water which rushes beneath the town centre through a culvert.

That watercourse has been the source of five significant floods since 1984, most notably in August 2012 when more than 50 domestic and retail properties were inundated. Lesser damage was incurred during the most recent incident in December last year.

The new works will complement improvements already carried out, such as replacing a grille at Burn Wynd and creating a flood relief drain at low-lying Duck Row.

What is now proposed includes extensive streetscape modifications and flood-resilence measures at at-risk properties.

However, further essential engineering aspects of the work require legally to be enshrined in a Flood Protection Scheme (FPS) which must get statutory approval from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

Once the FPS is advertised, interested parties, including affected landowners, will have a 28-day window to lodge any objections which could, if unresolved, result in a local public inquiry.

If this happens, the project could be delayed for up to eight months.

Although the scheme will receive no financial support from the Scottish Government, there is provision for the work in SBC’s approved capital programme.

A council spokesperson told The Southern: “The exact costings will not be confirmed until the detailed design of the scheme has been completed.