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Dumfries flood defence scheme set to move closer

Whitesands in Dumfries Credit: ITV Border

New flood defences in the Whitesands area of Dumfries could move a step closer today.

Councillors are meeting to chose their preferred method of protecting the area from flooding.

They're expected to choose a raised walkway alongside the river. But some local companies are concerned that could harm their businesses more than the flooding.

'It's taken 5,500 people to get DG Council to listen'

A retired businessman, who has handed in a petition against the planned flood defence system at Whitesands, in Dumfries, has slammed the town's council.

David Slater says it's taken a 5,500 signature petition to get Dumfries and Galloway Council to engage with people who are concerned about the plans:

The main area of concern for protesters is the plan to scrap 230 parking spaces at Whitesands, which they say will affect local businesses.


Petition against Dumfries flood defences to be presented

Whitesands in Dumfries. Credit: ITV Border

A petition against plans to build flood defences on a car park is set to be handed over to Dumfries and Galloway Council today.

Around 5,000 people have signed the petition, arguing that the loss of 230 parking spaces on Dumfries' Whitesands will harm trade for local businesses.

Flood warning for the Whitesands

Flooding at Whitesands in December Credit: ITV Border

A flood warning has been issued for the Whitesands in Dumfries for this afternoon, according to Police Scotland.

Elevated water levels within the Lower Nith are likely to result in tidal flooding on the Whitesands. High tide is expected at approximately 2.45pm but flooding may occur before and after this.

The flooding could reach across the road into the Brewery Street entrance, and parking on the Whitesands will be affected. The public are asked to avoid the area if possible.

The warning comes on the day when a petition against flooding prevention plans has been handed into the Public Petitions Committee in Dumfries.

Dumfries flood petition to be discussed

A public petition against new flood prevention plans in Dumfries will be heard during a "parliament day'" in the town.

A local resident is presenting his arguments against the multi-million scheme on the Whitesands.

The public petitions committee will consider two other petitions when it meets at Easterbrook Hall.

The committee can decide if the petition will be considered by the Scottish Parliament.


Flooding continues to affect region

Flooding is continuing to be a problem across the region.

So far Cumbria Police have issued a number of warnings about road closures and many train lines have been disrupted.

Yellow flood warnings have been issues across Cumbria, with Amber warnings being issues across South West Scotland and Borders.

ITV Border has also just been informed the Whitesands in Dumfries has now flooded.

Flood defences will put "Whitesands back where it should be"

"I think it will be excellent for Dumfries, and hopefully put the Whitesands back where it should be, as a pinnacle part of the town centre, and the Chandalese approach that we have with the trees and people rather than cars, I think will be very positive."

– Jacquie Brown, owner of Jaquie's salon in Dumfries

Cafe owner says flood plans are "a waste of money"

"I saw a film, and it was horse and carts in those days, so obviously it's been going on for years and years, so you're not going to stop it all entirely anyway so why spend all that money?

"We don't like getting flooded, we moan about getting flooded and we want something done about it, but if you want the honest truth sometimes you wish for something and if you wish hard enough it can destroy you sometimes in a way."

"I think it's a waste of money, the money they're proposing to spend on it. OK we don't like getting flooded, but I would rather be flooded once or twice over a period of time and lose a days business because I'm probably going to lose my business altogether if they go ahead and do what they propose to do."

– Willie Potts, owner of Piccolo Cafe in Dumfries

Businesses worried about proposed plans

The river Nith often bursts its banks throughout the winter Credit: ITV News Border

New flood defence plans were displayed in Dumfries town centre in August, after years of campaigning from local businesses.

However, the plans were met by mixed reactions with some businesses worried that the new scheme could deter people from visiting the town.

For example, the council were proposing to cut the number of car parking spaces to make way for new flood defences.

The river Nith often bursts its banks during the winter months, with many shopfronts suffering extensive damage as a result.

Local businesses have suffered extensive damage from flooding over the years Credit: ITV News Border
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