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November date for Whitesands inquiry

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By Abbey Morton
Dumfries and West
November date for Whitesands inquiry

THE official public inquiry into the controversial £25 million flood protection scheme for the Whitesands will begin on November 6.

Objectors and supporters of the scheme were brought together on Wednesday evening for the pre-inquiry hearing at Easterbrook Hall. Led by reporters of the Scottish Government, the meeting was attended by panels from the applicants, Dumfries and Galloway Council, as well as opposition group Save Our Sands (SOS). Representations were also made by MSP Oliver Mundell and John Glover, on behalf of the residents of the Nunholm area, and members of the public.

In his opening remarks the chair, assistant chief reporter Dan Jackman, said: “The aim of the meeting is for the objectors and the council to discuss how the process can be organised, hopefully obtain agreement on the final form, so people can go away with a firm timetable in mind.”

Policy and procedures around how the inquiry will be run were discussed and agreed upon. It was agreed that the inquiry will begin on November 6 and run until December 21. Written inquiry statement submissions were to be made by early September, but Mr Glover expressed concerns at the short timescale. The reporters requested submissions be sent electronically and confirmed that all documents relating to the inquiry will be displayed on the Scottish Government website for all to see.

Speaking after the meeting, Oliver Mundell said: “I have no confidence in the ability of a council that cannot build a swimming pool to keep the water in, to build a bund to keep the water out. “This scheme is unpopular, unwanted and unfit for purpose. “I look forward to supporting local businesses as an official objector.”

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