A scheme to provide flood protection and regeneration for the Whitesands area of Dumfries was agreed in November 2015. The project will transform the Whitesands, greatly improving an underutilised area of the town.
Following a period of public consultation, Councillors made the preliminary decision to confirm the Whitesands Project without modifications at Full Council on Tuesday 27 June 2017. The Council then advised Scottish Ministers of the decision and provided full details of the scheme and copies of all representations received. Members also made a formal request to Scottish Ministers to call in the Scheme and hold a Public Local Inquiry.
Scottish Government officials have now confirmed they will hold a Public Local Inquiry and following this, Scottish Ministers will decide either to confirm the scheme (with or without modification) or reject the scheme.
The Whitesands scheme is based on a 'raised walkway' concept with a combination of walls, glass panels and flood gates providing flood protection.
The proposed new physical defences (either walls/glass/raised walkway combinations) would begin next to the Dumfries and Galloway Standard offices and end just past the Pizzeria in Dock Park. There would also be defences over the river at Welldale and Kenmure Terrace.
The key design features are:
- The walkway would be a maximum of 1.4m high. This reduced height greatly improves the views of Whitesands.
- Use of glass panels along the walkway would provide a permanent 1 in 25 year return period standard of protection
- Use of demountable walling above the glass panels would provide the additional height for 1 in 75 year return period standard of protection
- Gentler gradients would allow full use of the grassed slopes as an open space
- Where there is insufficient room to accommodate the raised walkway there will be a combination of walls, glass panels and flood gates.
- The revised raised walkway has a smaller footprint meaning the 4 bus stop interchange can be accommodated without changes to the existing road alignment
- All parking on the shop side of the Whitesands would be retained
- A focal point and viewing area would be created at the Sandy Opening
We have prepared some answers to frequently asked questions about the project:
- project timeline
- project costs and funding
- height of defences and views of the river
- dredging and removal of gravel islands
- Devorgilla Bridge
- demountable panels
- alternative schemes
- maintenance of defences
- sewer improvements
- The Greensands
- impact on water levels elsewhere
- natural flood management
- Dock Park
- buses, toilets and fairs
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