South Scotland

Hawick flood protection scheme opposition level revealed

Hawick Image copyright Scottish Borders Council
Image caption The scheme to protect hundreds of homes in Hawick could be completed within five years

The level of public opposition to £41m flood protection plans in Hawick has been revealed.

Scottish Borders Council said it had received 48 valid objections to the project aimed at protecting more than 900 properties.

A public meeting is to be held in the town at the end of the month to discuss the scheme.

The objections will be available for inspection via the scheme's website and at Hawick Contact Centre from Friday.

The public meeting is being held on 31 August at 19:00 in Hawick Town Hall and will provide an update on progress.

Image copyright Hawick Flood Group
Image caption The scheme aims to tackle flooding problems which have affected Hawick in the past

Two site walks are also planned for the previous two days.

Hawick flood protection scheme's project manager Conor Price said: "The project team have always recognised that developing a flood protection scheme to protect the town of Hawick would be hugely complex and a major challenge.

"The development of the design since October 2010 has always recognised both the challenges and the opportunities.

"The design has continuously evolved over that time through an open, consultative framework with key stakeholders and the people of Hawick, and it is very important to note that the scheme's design will continue to evolve on this basis."

He said the proposed scheme was only based on an outline design at present with detailed work yet to be undertaken.

"Since 29 May, the project team have been considering the various themes presented through the 48 objections," he said.

"We have also been considering the other communications presented through this period."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Previous flooding incidents have caused considerable damage

He said they were working to bring everything together so that the scheme presented to council in the autumn offered the "best combination of options" to reduce the flood risk in the town.

Gordon Edgar, SBC's executive member for roads and infrastructure, said: "The Hawick Flood Protection Scheme is a complex project and as a result we expected a number of objections to be received.

"We would encourage members of the community to come to the public meeting and site tours to find out more information on the project.

"This is such an important project for Hawick and the council is committed to carrying out this process in a proper but timely manner."

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