South Scotland

Whitesands flood scheme heads towards public inquiry

Whitesands Image copyright Dumfries and Galloway Council
Image caption The plans look set to go to public inquiry

A £25m scheme to protect the Whitesands area of Dumfries from flooding looks set to go to public inquiry.

Dumfries and Galloway Council has agreed to refer the project to the Scottish government.

That would pave the way for a hearing to allow the public to express its views.

The new Labour-SNP administration said last month that it felt an inquiry would be the best way forward for the project.

The scheme has proved a controversial one since it was first proposed with concerns over the cost, the impact on riverside views and loss of parking spaces.

The Labour group on the authority has said it believes the project remains the "correct one" to address long-standing flooding issues in the area and boost regeneration.

However, their SNP colleagues committed to revisit the scheme as part of their manifesto.

An amendment put forward by Conservative councillor Ian Carruthers to rip up the plan and start again was defeated.

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