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Evidence given at £25m inquiry

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By Abbey Morton
Dumfries and West
Evidence given at £25m inquiry

A PUBLIC inquiry into the £25m Whitesands Flood Scheme got underway this week.

Reporters from The Scottish Government will spend four weeks in Dumfries hearing evidence about the plans drawn up to tackle ongoing flooding issues.

Speaking this week have been representatives of opposition group Save Our Sands, as well as council officers and local shopkeepers.

On Wednesday the reporters heard from Oliver Mundell MSP, along with traders Peter Bacci, Brian Sherman, Willie Potts and John Greenwood, who all have shops on the Whitesands.

They raised questions about value for money, the consultation with traders, community engagement and disruption during construction.

In a statement online John Dowson, lead of Save Our Sands, summarised the key points of the day and said: “Parking and buses are absolutely critical to the viability of small businesses on the Whitesands.

“The Whitesands is already a special place in the life of Doonhamers. Trade from tourists and travellers is important here.

“Little damage is done to most small businesses as they all have their own methods to cope.”

Yesterday Mr Dowson appeared again and raised issues including access for cyclists, depth of foundations for the proposed bund and possible seepage when the river is full.

Meanwhile, the reporters questioned council official James McLeod about the charette process and responses.

He was also asked about the maintenance of the development, including grass cutting, flower beds and the proposed glass panels.

He said: “Even if the grass isn’t cut, the flower beds have rubbish in them and the glass panels are not cleaned, it will still work as a flood defence scheme.”

The inquiry continues until December 7 and is taking place in The Holiday Inn, Dumfries.


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