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River Ness Flood alleviation plans put on display (26/03/12)
River Ness Flood Alleviation Scheme
A public exhibition is being held in Inverness early next month to advise the public of major construction works programmed to commence in the city centre at the end of this year to alleviate the threat of flooding from the River Ness from the Ness Bridge downstream to the Beauly Firth.
The exhibition is being held at Inverness Town House between 2pm and 7 pm on Tuesday 3 April.
Representatives from the project team including The Highland Council, Mott Macdonald, the District Valuer Services and Inverness Old Town Art (IOTA) will be in attendance to explain the scope of the scheme, and answer questions from the business and residential community.
The scheme is now being progressed through detailed design to construction following news in January of this year that the Scottish Government had agreed to fund 80% of the scheme costs (currently estimated at £21 million) with The Highland Council providing the remainder. The scheme proposes to raise the existing flood defences along both banks of the river in the form of low walls and embankments. The scheme is designed to protect 795 residential properties and 188 non-residential properties from a 1 in 100 year return period flood and tidal surge (including allowances for climate change and freeboard).
Construction is currently programmed to commence towards the end of 2012 and is likely to be in two phases. ‘Phase 1’ is anticipated to include the central areas of Bank Street and Huntly Street and ‘Phase 2’ will continue downstream of Friars Bridge. In advance of the construction phases a number of surveys including ground Investigations, topographical surveys and ground penetrating radar surveys are needed in the affected areas to progress the detailed design.
The Highland Council has also confirmed that it plans to take this opportunity as part of the flood works to invest an additional £3 million in streetscape to improve the appearance of the river frontage making it more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists and improving accessibility along the river bank linking the works to the recent award winning streetscaping works in the city centre. Some of the ideas, materials and themes of the proposed streetscaping on Bank Street, Huntly Street and Douglas Row will reflect the City Centre streetscape and will be on display at the exhibition for comment. As well as providing flood protection one of the objectives of this project is to enhance the riverbank and the local environment to encourage visitors to this area and assist local businesses on the riverside.
The Highland Council are also working with Inverness Old Town Art (IOTA) who played a significant role in consulting with the public and artistic community on the Three Virtues, The Victorian Market refurbishment and ‘Re-imagining the Centre’. IOTA have been commissioned to devise ways of engaging with the public and incorporating works of art and design into the flood scheme and will be listening to attendees ideas at the exhibition.
Regular updates on the scheme will be provided via a monthly News Bulletin available from The Highland Council Service Point (located on 23 Church Street Inverness) and The Highland Council website (www.highland.gov.uk/yourenvironment/flooding).
Any comments or questions about the scheme can be directed to a dedicated email address: RiverNessFAS@highland.gov.uk.