The next stage of the Grangemouth Flood Protection Scheme (FPS), covering communities in in Wholeflats, Glensburgh, Langlees, Carron, Carronshore, Grangemouth and parts of Stirling Road in Camelon will be launched this week.
More than 12,000 information letters will shortly arrive across seven communities, updating residents and companies as well as asking them to register details to receive future updates on a new scheme website.
Falkirk Council is leading the development of Scotland’s largest flood protection scheme, backed by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). The Grangemouth FPS will protect 5,800 people, 2,650 homes, 330 businesses and the community's road and rail infrastructure.
Expected to cost around £220m, and around 80% Scottish Government grant-funded, it is seen as the highest priority flood protection scheme in Scotland.
The scheme will also provide almost 27km of flood defence walls, embankments and involve the installation of flood gates, flow regulation measures and drainage works, including works at the entrance to the Port of Grangemouth.
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Residents are being asked to register on the newly launched website or by filling in the return slip included with the letter. This ensures everyone affected or interested can receive updates as the scheme progresses. The next community exhibitions, either in person or virtually will be held early in 2021.
Climate change and the risk of flooding is on the rise and can result in more frequent intense rainfall and higher sea levels, unfortunately Grangemouth and surrounding areas are affected by both tidal and river flooding. The scheme is seen as unique as it covers coastal flooding from the Forth Estuary and river flooding from the River Carron, River Avon and the Grange Burn.
To provide better protection for the town and surrounding areas, Falkirk Council is working with consultants Jacobs to design, plan and manage the new flood defences. Construction could start in 2024, with completion in 2035.
The scheme involves wide-ranging consultations with local residents, businesses and other interested parties. Two public exhibitions in 2018 and 2019 have already been held, with the next event planned in early 2021.
Councillor Paul Garner, environment portfolio holder as Falkirk Council, said:
“We all know that over the last few years, instances of flooding have increased and can have a devastating effect on communities.
“As a Council, we want to ensure we are at the forefront of protecting our homes, businesses and livelihoods across seven communities including, Grangemouth. The protection scheme seeks to mitigate flood risks and improve the resilience of our communities to be able to cope with the threats posed by weather events.
“The protection scheme will also protect road and rail infrastructure as well as key national infrastructure such as the port and refinery. It is vital to ensure that transport links remain open during flood events and that the movement of goods through the Port of Grangemouth is not adversely affected.”
Alan McGowan, Senior Associate Director, Jacobs, said:
“The flood protection scheme is similar to many other flood protection schemes across the UK, but the Grangemouth scheme is very complicated due to its scale, geographic spread, and the complex urban and industrial setting. Protecting local communities is at the heart of the scheme.
“The Protection scheme requires almost 17 miles of flood defences, averaging around 1.5 metres in height and of different designs, such as embankments, walls, floodgates and pumping stations to address river, coastal and surface water. It has to cope with flooding from three rivers and the Forth Estuary, in a variety of different environments from private gardens and public open spaces to major industrial complexes.
“And there are also many significant environmental constraints such as the Firth of Forth Special Protected Area which provides habitat for large numbers of birds. We expect the project will take around 10 years to complete.”
The scheme will also have a uniquely developed STEM education programme for local schools to look at flooding and its affects as well as gathering ideas from young people on the project.
Falkirk Council and Jacobs will be working to minimise disruption to local wildlife, plant life and enjoyment of the waterways throughout this project.