The first phase of construction of the River Ness Flood defences, between Ness Bridge and Friars Bridge is being carried out by Morgan Sindall, who were awarded the £8.5M contract. Phase 2 from Friars Bridge to the harbour will commence in the New Year with completion of the overall scheme by Spring 2015.The flood defences will protect 800 homes and 200 businesses in the city centre and will feature a public arts programme to complement streetscape enhancements. Click here for more information.
Re-opening of Bank Street and Huntly Street to Traffic
Bank Street and Huntly Street (between Young Street and Greig Street) will re-open to traffic at 7pm on Friday 29th November 2013, when work will be suspended for the Christmas period in recognition of the importance to local businesses of pre-Christmas shopping.
Sheet piling works have been progressing down Huntly Street from Young Street. From Monday 25th November Huntly Street will be closed to traffic between Balnain Street and Celt Street. It is planned to re-open on Thursday 28th November. There will be pedestrian access at all times and businesses remain `Open` as usual.
Meanwhile the Council is actively working with the contractor Morgan Sindall to find a solution to the large boulders encountered on Bank Street while drainage work is continuing. In order to maintain progress on the project a joint decision has been taken to move the piling rig to Huntly Street whilst a suitable method to deal with the boulders is found.
Need to get in touch?
It is recognised that these works will cause disruption. The Highland Council and Morgan Sindall will aim to minimise this as much as possible. Those residents and businesses directly affected will receive notifications in advance of works starting in their area as well as a monthly newsletter with updates about the progression of the scheme.
If you have any issues, or require any further information about the works, please contact the Public Liaison Officers: Sally Cooper and Angela McBrearty.
Tel: 07557 744442, Email: RiverNessFAS@highland.gov.uk
Launch of first project in River Ness public arts programme
One of the spin-off benefits of the River Ness Flood Scheme is the creation of a major public arts programme to enhance the attractions of the riverscape in Inverness city centre. See River Connections Artist's Brief (1557kb pdf)
RNFAS Public Exhibition, Phase 2 Lower Section
A Public Exhibition was staged on Thursday 16th May 2013. Residents, business owners and stakeholders were invited to view plans and discuss any concerns. This second phase of the scheme is currently out to tender with works due to begin early 2014. The District Valuer has been appointed by The Highland Council to liaise with landowners and businesses that are directly affected by the scheme. If you would like to raise a concern with the District Valuer please contact them on 03000 506298.
Completion of Enabling Works
The first stage of the River Ness Flood Scheme, Inverness, which started on Monday 29th October 2012 was completed as scheduled on 18th April 2013. These works included the diversion of utilities - gas, water, electricity and telecommunication services away from the route of the planned flood defences.
Background to the Scheme
In December 2011 The Highland Council applied to Scottish Government for funding towards the above scheme.
The Tidal Section (between Ness Bridge and the mouth of the river) was promoted for funding as it had previously obtained a Flood Prevention Order in 2008 under the 1961 Flood Prevention Act and Planning Permission in 2008/9. The scheme proposed to raise the existing flood defences along both banks of the river in the form of short walls and embankments. This scheme is designed to protect properties from a 1:100 return period flood (including allowances for climate change and freeboard) and has an overall benefit to cost ratio of 3.5.
The River Ness has burst its banks numerous times throughout history, often with devastating consequences. The most disruptive event occurred in 1989 when the railway viaduct was swept away with the floods. A pre-feasibility study for a flood alleviation scheme was undertaken in 2005, which included the production of indicative flood extents. These extents identified that a flood alleviation scheme would provide significant benefits in the lower section (north of Ness Bridge). Following this study, a wide range of flood alleviation options were examined as part of technical options review.
Consideration was given to the technical, economic, environmental and social aspects of each potential solution. A key stakeholder's workshop was then held in November 2005 to discuss all the potential flood alleviation options for Inverness. The preferred option to protect Inverness from both tidal and fluvial (river) flooding was some form of riverbank defence.
Following consultations with affected landowners, outline designs for ‘The River Ness (Tidal Section) Flood Prevention Scheme’ and ‘The River Ness (Non-Tidal Section) Flood Prevention Scheme’ were submitted to Scottish Government under the 1961 Flood Prevention Act. Both schemes received ministerial confirmation in March 2009 (copies of the Flood Prevention Order can be downloaded from ‘current documents’).
Planning Permission for both sections were then sought in September 2009. Due to the number of objections the Non-Tidal Section (south of Ness Bridge) received, this application was withdrawn. The Tidal Section received Planning Permission in December 2009.
The Non-Tidal Section which includes areas to the south of Ness Bridge is included in the Highland Councils’ Flood Alleviation Capital Programme and will be reviewed in the future.
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