Relief over St Andrews flood prevention work

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A £150,000 programme which, it is hoped, will help end years of misery for residents whose properties have been flooded on numerous occasions when the Kinness Burn in St Andrews has burst its banks is set to get under way.

The long-awaited measures to tackle the problem will begin on Monday and - while there is no assurances being given that the scheme will eliminate all risk of flooding - it hoped it will help to considerably improve the situation.

Fife Council’s transportation and environmental services department are leading the flooding mitigation measures programme and the work is expected to take up to six weeks.

Over recent years, householders in the area of Dempster Court, Dempster Terrace, Fleming Place and Kinnessburn Road have been left counting the financial cost from flood damage after the burn has burst its banks, in particular after prolonged heavy rainfall and when roadside drains were unable to cope with the sheer volume of water.

The local authority has conceded that flooding in the area has been a concern for some time and, in order to address the problems, appointed a consultant earlier this year to undertake a flood risk assessment study of the burn.

Consultant engineer Iain Smith said:”The main objective of the study was to assess the impact that berms have on flooding between Maggie Murray’s Bridge at Bridge Street and the bridge at Greenside Place further downstream and to recommend short-term mitigation measures.”

The watercourse has been historically widened and heavily engineered with concrete, masonry and timber walls and some natural banking.

He added that in the area between Bridge Street and the bridge at Greenside Place, various berms have developed naturally over the years reducing the width of the burn to approximately three to four metres in places.

In general, the berms are heavily vegetated and sections are occasionally dislodged by flood waters causing possible restrictions to the flow and blockages downstream.

A licence to carry out the proposed project was granted by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency earlier this month and covers works to reduce the height of some berms by up to 50 per cent and the complete removal of others considered to be in an unstable condition. Other minor works to further help alleviate flood risk include repairs to banks and revetments and clearance works under bridges.

Owing to access difficulties around the burn and to protect the health and safety of the workforce and the travelling public during the works’ programme, Kinnessburn Road will be closed to through traffic and parking for the duration of the contract. However, to minimise inconvenience to road users, only the sections required to carry out operations safely will be closed.

Councillor Robin Waterston said:”This is excellent news. It has been a very long wait, but I am delighted that we have finally reached the point where works can begin.

“This will be a great relief for local residents. We know that it will not remove all flooding risk, but it should reduce the dangers in all but the most extreme of events.”