The end could finally be in sight for the misery experienced by residents whose homes border the Kinness Burn in St Andrews with the news that the long-awaited measures to tackle the problems of it bursting its banks are set to get under way.
While the £150,000 works’ programme will not eliminate all flood risks, it is hoped that it will help to improve the situation considerably - bringing some relief to residents who, in the past, have endured widespread flooding of their homes and gardens.
Over recent years, householders in the area of Dempster Court, Dempster Terrace, Fleming Place and Kinnessburn Road have been left counting the financial cost on several occasions after flood damage to their properties when the burn burst its banks, in particular after heavy rainfall when drains were unable to cope with the sheer volume of water.
Fife Council agreed a programme of mitigation measures earlier this year following a public meeting with affected residents. Its application to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) for permission to carry out the flood risk reduction works at the Kinness Burn is now in the process of being granted, local Fife councillor Bill Sangster told the Citizen.
Temporary traffic restrictions are set to be introduced by the local authority in Kinnessburn Road as from August 29 for some 10 weeks and Councillor Sangster said that he assumed that the licence would be in place by then to allow the work to go ahead.
The proposals include reducing the height of most of the berms in the burn by 50 per cent, leaving just 10cm above the normal water level, as well as the removal of any unstable sections of existing berms.
It is also planned to repair sections of the banking and timber revetments of the burn, while clearance works under bridges will be part of the programme.
Reduction of berms creating the worst of the bottlenecks between Maggie’s Bridge and the bridge at Greenside Place has also been proposed.
Councillor Sangster continued: ”We have battled hard over the past eight years to have the Kinness Burn cleared out to try and ease the flooding situation. The flood risk assessment shows that over 100 houses could be at risk along that part of Kinnessburn Road and adjoining streets.
“For many years I have been making the point that these berms, weeds and silt have only added to the flooding situation in that part of the town. Now, nearly six years after the flood study carried out by Fife Council, we are getting some action.”
Hefty fines can be issued if SEPA legislation is breached and the appropriate licensing has to be obtained by the local authority.
Work has begun already to clear some of the weeds and vegetation in the watercourse and Councillor Sangster added: ”The burn is not going to be dredged as it was in the days of the former St Andrews Town Council - SEPA regulations will not allow that - but we are to see a start on clearing some berms which are unsafe and the lowering of others.
‘‘It is also hoped that the banking which has deteriorated and fallen into the burn will be repaired before the winter sets in.
“I welcome this work which will go some way in helping alleviate the problem, but other measures may have to be looked at again if the flooding continues over the next few years.”
The temporary traffic restrictions will see the closure of Kinnessburn Road from its junction with Pipeland Road to Langlands Road with no parking between 7am and 5pm daily.