SBC approves £28M flood scheme

A flood-hit Mansfield Park in October 2005
A flood-hit Mansfield Park in October 2005

SCOTTISH Borders Council has approved a £27.9million flood protection scheme for Hawick, and given the go-ahead for it to progress to the next stage.

The scheme is a project team’s proposal on the best combination of options to defend the town against a major flood event, which it is estimated will protect 915 residential and commercial properties – by providing almost six kilometres of flood wall and seven new flood gates.

Designed to protect against a one-in-75-year event – the severe deluge of 2005 being a one-in-50 year flood event - the scheme will provide the town with the maximum level of flood protection that can be delivered without building huge walls.

And its approval at council headquarters yesterday has been warmly welcomed by local councillor and Hawick Flood Group chairman, Stuart Marshall.

He told the Hawick News: “For some time the six Hawick councillors have been working very hard alongside the project team responsible for bringing forward a preferred flood protection scheme for Hawick.”

The preferred scheme has split areas at risk into six flood ‘cells’, and although each boasts a long list of works, measures will include a new flood wall from Sonia’s Bistro to Drumlanrig Bridge, an automatic pumping station in Sandbed, a flood wall along Mansfield Road and Duke Street, and flood embankment at Hawick Rugby Football Club.

Mr Marshall added: “There are many hurdles to overcome, but this news should be welcomed by the vast majority of people that suffered terribly in October 2005.”

Councillor Ron Smith commented: “I welcome the scheme and would pay tribute to the team who have put it together. Hopefully it will be seen that they are for the greater good of the town,”

The next stage of the scheme will comprise outline design, consultation and a second public exhibition.