HOUSEHOLDERS in St Andrews are enjoying a huge flood of relief.

The first phase of a £150,000 programme focusing on the Kinness Burn and aimed at resolving flooding problems which have plagued householders for several years has been completed.

The watercourse has a long history of bursting its banks in the area of Fleming Place, Kinnessburn Road, Dempster Court and Dempster Terrace when roadside drains are unable to cope with prolonged periods of heavy rain.

As a consequence, residents have been left counting the costs after their homes and gardens were flooded.

One of the issues of local concern has been the possible impact on the flooding caused by the naturally-occurring silt berms or verges and the initial works programme has focused on their removal on the stretch between Maggie Murray’s Bridge and the bridge at Greenside Place.

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It has seen the removal of any unstable silt berms and the reduction of others by 50 per cent to approximately 10cm above normal water level.

The ongoing project of flood mitigation measures will also see general repairs to the banks and timber retaining walls, while another phase is the implementation of a rigorous maintenance regime to maintain the burn by cutting back vegetation and the skimming of the berms as needed.

Fife Councillor Bill Sangster told the Citizen that the burn had been cleared of over 1300 tons of silt, which will be recycled and mixed with soil and used as topsoil, while large stones removed will be crushed and used as hardcore.

He added: ”As the silt was removed it was found that many gully water outlets which run from the street into the burn had been choked by berms and they have now been uncovered.

‘‘They are being jetted clean which should bring them back into service and do the job they were meant to do, clearing the water from the roadway.

“I commend the work already done and carried out most professionally by the Fife Council workforce over the past few weeks through some very difficult conditions.”

With the completion of the first phase, work on pathways will be carried out in the next few weeks. The path on the north banking will be worked on over the next three months.

Councillor Sangster added: ”Regarding the timber retaining wall structure, it is the intention to use steel sleeve prototypes to slip over the existing concrete posts to allow new timber boards between them.

‘‘In the spring, the remaining berms will be grass seeded and will receive periodic maintenance over the year. A monitoring of the berms which may re-form will also be carried out during the year.”

The local authority was awarded a licence by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to carry out the contract.