Members of the Highland Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee have approved, in principle, to adopt the upgraded flood bund at Dingwall Business Park in order to open up new business opportunities.
Dingwall Business Park, which lies on the River Peffery Flood Plain, currently hosts a variety of units, including a recycling centre, offices, a nursery and a number of industrial units.
The original bund embankment was erected around the perimeter in the 1980s and when the space was expanded to the west, a further embankment was erected around the newer section.
The existing bund provides some relief from flood risk associated with the River Peffery but it is not a formal Flood Protection Scheme and was not constructed under relevant flooding legislation.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), who were responsible for the development of the Business Park, are undertaking design work to establish the full extent of works and costs that would be required to upgrade the existing bund to a condition to provide designed flood protection in accordance with planning guidance.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) have indicated this would only be formally recognised if it was a consented flood bund in accordance with the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 and adopted by the Council.
It is therefore necessary for HIE and any other potential investors to the upgrade works to establish that the principle of adoption is agreed by the Council, before committing to funding of the construction works.
The Committee’s in principle decision is subject to agreement over the construction and delivery of the flood bund and also agreement for the resulting liabilities associated with adoption
Chair of the Committee, Councillor Ken Gowans said:
“Currently any new development within the business park is being considered as a flood risk.
“This is having a negative impact on the potential for new economic growth, so I am pleased that our decision to adopt in principle, is a positive step forward to unlocking opportunities within Dingwall Business Park.”