WORK is now well under way on a £150,000 programme of flood mitigation measures at the Kinness Burn in St Andrews.
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 burn has been historically widened and heavily engineered with concrete, masonry and timber walls and some natural banking. In the area between Bridge Street and Greenside Place, various berms have developed naturally over the years, substantially reducing its width in places to approximately three to four metres.
In general, the berms are heavily vegetated and sections are occasionally dislodged by flood waters causing restrictions to the flow and blockages downstream.
The six-week contract is centred on the section of the watercourse between Bridge Street and Greenside Place and involves reducing the height of some of the 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.
Local Fife Councillor Bill Sangster said:”Tons of silt and weeds are being removed.
‘[‘It is a relief for residents in that area where many houses have been affected by flooding in the past.”
Along with the berms being lowered so that the flood waters should not be restricted within the stretch of the burn between Fleming Place and Greenside Place, major repairs are also being carried out to many of the retaining wooden structures holding the banking in place, some of which over time have fallen into the burn.
Councillor Sangster added: ”The burn will also receive regular maintenance so that there should not be a build-up of sediment and weeds in the future.
“It will only be seen how effective this work has been over time once there has been sufficient rainfall to test the outcome. Nevertheless, further improvements may have to be taken in the longer term.”
A licence to carry out the long-awaited works’ programme has been granted by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.