Tender awarded for construction of Huntly Flood Protection Scheme

A contractor has been chosen to deliver Huntly’s Flood Protection Scheme (FPS), bringing the long-term project one step closer to completion.

It is hoped work on the ground could start in October and take between 10 months and a year to finish.

Wills Bros Civil Engineering Ltd won the tender to deliver the £3.5million scheme, designed to reduce the risk of flooding to the Meadows area of the town.

The work includes new embankments both in the Meadows area and adjacent to the A920 at the Ittingstone Burn, new culverts, piling, various utility diversions, and the creation of a new walkway along some of the embankments.

It has been a complicated process to get to this point, including a Public Hearing held In Huntly to consider outstanding objections to the scheme from landowners.

A Scottish Government Reporter recommended Aberdeenshire Council progress its plans without modification following the hearing.

Design work has been progressing on the project since April 2011.

The Council has proceeded under the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009, as it has not been possible to secure the land needed by agreement.

Under section 79 of this Act, once a scheme is confirmed the Council has the power to enter onto land to carry out works.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Marr Area Committee, Moira Ingleby, said: “The imminent start of this work is excellent news for the people of Huntly who know the risk posed to the town by flooding, having suffered from it in the past.

“Implementing a Flood Protection Scheme is not a quick or easy process, but we have successfully got to the point where this will soon be a reality, recognising the benefits it will bring to the wider community, whilst also taking into account the views of objectors where possible.”

Vice-chair, John Latham, said: “It was clearly important that objections to the scheme were properly investigated and weighed up against the benefits to the wider community and the extensive work we have done to this point means we should be able to move towards delivery of the Flood Protection Scheme on the ground with minimal delay, which has to be welcomed.”

The FPS has been designed to reduce the risk of flooding to residential, agricultural, community and business properties along the River Deveron, the Ittingstone Burn and the Meadow Burn.

It comprises a number of individual projects, including creating storage for flood water to the west of the Meadows estate by constricting the flow in the Meadow Burn.

Councillors previously agreed Aberdeenshire Council should promote a formal Flood Protection Scheme for Huntly and the Flood Protection Scheme (formal order) was promoted under the terms of the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009.

The promotion of a Formal Order for the Huntly Flood Protection Scheme under this Act was a first for Aberdeenshire, and was considered necessary to deliver a scheme to protect the town quickly. It was granted planning consent in June 2012.