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Water of Leith flood prevention scheme

16/03/2007

The Water of Leith Flood Prevention Scheme, which will protect thousands of homes and businesses in Edinburgh, has been confirmed by the Executive.

The Scheme now takes into account most of the modifications recommended by a public inquiry. Ministers have, however, rejected the Reporters' recommendation not to confirm the Scheme until the City of Edinburgh Council had re-examined the standard of protection and carried out further investigations.

Environment Minister Ross Finnie said:

"Consideration of this Scheme has presented many complex challenges and we have looked very carefully at all the representations. We now have a sustainable Scheme which the City of Edinburgh Council can take forward to construction.

"We are committed to supporting councils' efforts to reduce flood risk to their vulnerable communities and we will provide grant support for this Scheme to suit the Council's programme. People with homes and businesses along the Water of Leith can now be re-assured that the Flood Prevention Scheme will go ahead."

The confirmed Scheme includes the adoption of the Scottish Rugby Union's alternative proposals in the area of Murrayfield Stadium and the consequential increase in the height of downstream flood defences. The Murrayfield modification results in a modest increase in the height of defences of 3.5 centimetres, on average, with a maximum of eight centimetres at only one location. This modification will not increase total costs.

The recommendation to replace the proposed demountable flood defences in Stockbridge Colonies with glass panels has been rejected.

Ministers consider that the lack of conditions about the timing of construction works or the programme of environmental mitigation measures are not shortcomings in the Scheme. These will be properly addressed in the Environmental Action Plan through the planning system and, where appropriate, through the Water Environment (Controlled Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2005

The Water of Leith Flood Prevention Scheme was proposed by the City of Edinburgh Council in 2003, following flooding in April 2000 when over 500 properties suffered flood damage.

The Report of the Public Local Inquiry, held between November 2 and December 10, 2004, identified a number of shortcomings in the proposed Scheme and recommended modifications to the Scheme. On September 8, 2005, Ministers consulted on those modifications which were being considered.

Ministers have decided to confirm the Scheme with the modifications labelled A, B, C, D, E, F2, H - other than the replacement of demountables at Avondale Place and Glenogle Terrace with glass panels, and I4 as detailed in the Table below.

Modification Label Location Confirmed Modifications:

A Harperrig, Harlaw & Threipmuir Reservoirs Reconfiguring valves and telemetry system

B Threipmuir Reservoir Re-location of weir to Easter Bavelaw causeway

C Haughhead Ford Council proposal M5 - alteration to land required

D Longstone, Murray Burn & Saughton Council proposals M2 - alteration to details at Longstone viaduct, M3 - raising of defences at confluence with Murray Burn, and M6 - alteration to land required at Saughton Allotments

E Balgreen Council proposal M2 -provide protection to railway embankment

F2 Murrayfield SRU's proposals for Murrayfield and Retain Baird Drive bridges and provide additional details about other defences at Murrayfield and Roseburn Park

H All localities downstream of Murrayfield increases downstream consequential to F2 and / Roseburn Park Stockbridge Colonies Council proposals M1 - defences at Tanfield House; M7- provide flood gates at Falshaw Bridge; and Insertion of glass panels at Ettrickdale Place and Liddesdale Place

I4 General Address drafting error in paragraph 5 of Scheme