The Mill Burn in Inverness is prone to flooding in several areas. Significant flooding occurred on this watercourse during February 1989 and more recently, floods of July 1997, December 1998, January 1999, April 1999, April 2000, September 2002 and August 2011.
The Mill Burn has its headwaters in the range of hills to the south-west of Inverness. The valley sides are fairly steep down to the Wester Inshes area, at which point the gradients slacken. Mill Burn runs at a steady grade down to the Moray Firth. The Mill Burn system includes tributaries known as Parks Farm Burn and Druid Temple Burn.
Mott MacDonald have carried out a flood risk review of the Mill Burn catchment on behalf of The Highland Council’s Flood Team to identify the flood risk currently posed by the watercourse to properties, the transport network and critical infrastructure. This information is currently being used by the Flood Team to design a flood alleviation scheme under the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) 2009 Act. A copy of the Flood Risk Review Report can be found under the ‘current documents’ section on the right hand side of this page.
The Mott MacDonald study suggests that three areas are potentially at risk of flooding when considering flood events up to the 1 in 200 year return period (i.e. 0.5% annual probability of flooding) plus climate change flood. These are the Castle Heather area, along Diriebught Road and the Harbour Road area.
The Highland Council’s Flood Team have presented a ‘preferred option’ to the Pre-application Advice group in August 2011 (presentation and advice pack can be found under the ‘current documents’ section on the right hand section of this page) and are currently finalising an Option Appraisal Report with assistance from Mott MacDonald. Several studies including an Arboricultural Impact Assessment, Habitat Survey and an Ecological Survey are required by statutory consultees which will have to be finalised before the preferred scheme will be consulted on publicly.
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The contract for the fourth and final phase of the Inverness South West Flood Relief Scheme has been awarded by The Highland Council to R J McLeod Contractors. The contract works, valued at £6.57 million, are due to start next month and last for 52 weeks.
The public will have the chance to view the plans at an exhibition being held on Wednesday 2 November at Fairways, Castle Heather, Inverness between 6 - 7.30 pm.
The final phase of the £16 million South-West Inverness flood relief channel lies between Oldtown of Leys and the Alt na Skiah Burn to the south of Fairways Golf course. The scheme intercepts four watercourses; Lochardil Burn, Slackbuie Channel, Slackbuie Springs and Alt na Skiah Burn and channels the waters into the River Ness, via the Holm Burn.
The total length of construction for this final phase is 1,400 metres. Approximately half of this will be buried precast concrete box culverts and the remainder will be open channel.
The works have been designed by AECOM based in Leeds and works will be supervised by the Council.
Phase one commenced at the River Ness and travels up the Holm Burn to Holm Burn Bridge. The works involved increasing the capacity of Holm Burn, bunding works on the banks, the widening and deepening of an existing sediment pond, the construction of a fish pass and the replacement of two bridges.
Phase two commenced at the Holm Burn just downstream of Torbreck Bridge and terminates at Culduthel Channel. The works involved construction of the confluence at Holm Burn, a sedimentation pond and weir to catch sediment from the channel prior to its discharge into the Holm Burn. The channel travels in a culvert until beyond Essich Road, and then travels largely in open channel until Culduthel Channel.
Phase three began at Culduthel Channel and ended at Loochardil Burn, Old town of Leys. The channel is a combination of culverted sections and open channel.
Works are also underway to replace Holm Burn Bridge on Dores Road as part of the scheme. This replacement increases the flood capacity of this bridge, but devlopers are also funding the widening of the bridge and provision of a cycleway to access a proposed adjacent development. Works at the bridge are programmed to be complete by Christmas.
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