Torrent of complaints prompts flood action

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FIFE Council has agreed a programme of short-term flood mitigation measures to be carried out at Kinness Burn.

Councillors have backed a report from transportation services which will hopefully alleviate the concerns of residents in and around Kinnessburn Road in St Andrews.

The report - tabled before the north east Fife area committee in Cupar on Wednesday - has recommended the introduction of a “radical sediment management and maintenance” programme that will reduce some berms and remove unstable sections of other berms altogether.

A licence application will now be submitted to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) who are expected to give the green light to the scheme by the end of June.

If the licence is granted, the work could be completed by September.

The Kinness Burn area is notorious for flooding. In November 2009, the burn broke its banks and flooded homes and gardens following a period of torrential rain.

A detailed flood study of the area between Maggie Murray’s Bridge and Greenside Place Bridge was undertaken following a public meeting in January last year.

The total removal of silt berms in the engineered section of the burn was the most popular option with members of the public but, in the report before councillors this week, that option was not recommended.

Instead, the work proposed will involve reducing berms to 10 centimetres above the normal water level between Dempster Terrace and Greenside Place Bridge. Unstable berms which could be dislodged by flood waters will be removed and banks and timber revetments in some places will be repaired and strengthened.

OBJECTIVE

The meeting heard that the council has no duty to build a flood prevention scheme but doing so remained an objective.

St Andrews councillor Robin Waterston added: “This is a big step in the right direction as it will make a significant difference to the water flow during flooding events.

‘‘The berms will be reduced to 10 cm above the normal water levels and that will help to manage it.

‘‘It won’t stop the extreme events but I am glad we are making some progress. The Kinness Burn has been neglected for far too long.’’

However, one Kinnessburn Road resident told the Citizen that he didn’t think the measures went far enough and not enough information had been produced.

Speaking immediately after the meeting, Brian Morris said: “I’m totally dissatisfied with this decision.

‘‘One of the options at the last meeting was the total removal of all the silt berms and to produce proposals for a full flood prevention scheme.

“They have now taken over a year to produced a report containing a recommendation which has already been rejected at a public meeting.

‘‘We have yet to see the detailed report which the council used to come up with their recommendation so we have no facts to go on..

“In 2006 we were told a full flood prevention program would cost £1.5 million and now it has suddenly gone up to £10 million with no explanation given for the rise.

“My house isn’t actually in danger of being flooded but I live nearby and the threat of flooding has a real detrimental effect on the whole area.”