South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth and Annandale South Councillor Sean Marshall have urged Scottish Water to make agreeing investment in storm storage and upgrades to the sewer network in the Annan area a priority.

The call comes after Scottish Water confirmed to the local representatives that following investigative work, the preferred solution to tackling flooding problems in an around Newington Park in the town would involve the provision of significant storm water storage and well as improvements to the local sewer network.

The town was badly hit by flash flooding in July and since then Colin and Sean have been pressing Scottish Water to find suitable short and long term solutions to the flood risk for properties in Rose Street, Charles Street and Greenlea Road as well as Newington Park.

Since October this year, a combination of storm guards and storm door protection has been installed by Dumfries and Galloway Council as temporary protection measures. Scottish Water has also installed additional mitigation at properties in Charles Street, Greenlea Road and Rose Street and are currently in discussions with some customers regarding further additional mitigation. Scottish Water have also indicated that they have improved their emergency response plan which includes early warning of possible flood events so they can alert residents and deploy resources to the area, should they become aware of flood risk.

In addition, Scottish Water have undertaking modelling work to help further improve their understanding of how the sewer network, road drainage, surface water and water courses interact during various rainfall events and now have a preferred solution, which involves the provision of significant storm storage and upgrades to the local sewer network which they have agreed in principle and now intend to promote for implementation. However, the scheme is significant in terms of cost and still requires final agreement by Scottish Water, which Colin Smyth and Sean Marshall have urged the company to agree as soon as possible.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “Since the flash flooding in July Sean and I have been urging Scottish Water to bring forward a solution to prevent a repeat and we are pleased that progress has been made by Scottish Water in developing a way forward. I know that a concern residents raised with us was fears that work completed by Scottish Water in 2008 had actually made matters worse. The company have assured us that further investigative and modelling work shows that the scheme completed in 2008 helps reduce the level flooding in and around Newington Park and Rose Street. However, clearly events in the summer show that this work does not go far enough and the provision of more water storage and upgrades to the local sewer network are now needed. We are urging Scottish Water to agree the funding for this significant work as soon as possible so we can see these improvements implemented. There is no doubt that the scale of the work planned will cause some disruption and Scottish Water have agreed to arrange further meetings with the community in the coming weeks so they can explain this solution in more detail and advise on the next steps for proceeding including timescales and an engagement plan for the community, particularly those impacted by the flooding”.

Annandale South Councillor Sean Marshall said, “Having met with residents who are desperate for a long term, permanent solution to the flooding of their properties I totally support the preferred solution to help prevent the risk of flooding to their properties which involves the provision of significant water storage and upgrades to the local sewer network”. 

“I will continue to work closely with Colin and affected residents to pursue this solution and urge Scottish Water to sanction the funding for this scheme and ensure the delivery of the project is implemented as soon as possible and provides minimum disruption during construction. I am sure during Storm Eleanor residents were worried that they may see more flooding. Although on this occasion it was limited primarily to properties close to the coast, we do need to see this solution for Annan implemented as soon as possible to ensure we don’t have a repeat of the flash flooding we saw in July.”

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