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Planners have until September to come up with the details of the Whitesands Masterplan in Dumfries.
After that councillors will ask the Scottish Government to provide some of the £4 million it will cost to build the flood defences and redesign the Whitesands with green spaces and pedestrian areas.
Potential plans for future flood defences in Dumfries would see the whole of the area between the town centre and the River Nith redeveloped.
The flood prevention scheme could cost up to £4 million and would be funded by the council and the Scottish Government.
The Labour group on Dumfries and Galloway Council will ask for detailed plans to be drawn up within six months at the planning meeting.
Any plans would then need to get planning permission and the scheme could take up to three years to complete.
The scheme would involve a green bank barrier being built along the River Nith at the Whitesands, which would reach a height of two metres at its highest point.
That would protect against most flooding but not against a severe flood described as a "one in two hundred year event".
Nith Ward Councillor John Martin said:
"I think most people will be quite pleased with the rough proposals in the masterplan. It would help regenerate the Whitesands area.
"In the long term the proposals for the wider town centre would also make a real difference to regenerating Dumfries. But there is a real difference between a consultants report and implementation.
"Until we see bricks being laid on the ground, local residents and businesses will be skeptical about whether this will actually happen".
A council meeting is being held to discuss the future of flood defences for Dumfries Whitesands.
Councillors from the planning, housing and environment committee, will discuss a 'masterplan' for flooding problem areas in the town.
Some councillors are concerned that there is still no timescale set for the project and no funding proposals are in place.