Edinburgh flood defences ‘to be scaled back’

Flood defence work underway in Edinburgh. Picture: Greg Macvean

Flood defence work underway in Edinburgh. Picture: Greg Macvean

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A MAJOR flood defence scheme to protect the Scottish capital is to be scaled back following huge cost overruns and a dispute with private contractors.

Edinburgh City Council has admitted that it was “no longer possible to provide in full the defences” proposed along the Water of Leith, despite being under construction for a decade.

In a scenario reminiscent of the tram-line debacle, local authority chiefs have suggested axing planned defences for a series of areas including the Damside and Belford areas near Dean Village.

Murrayfield and Roseburn will be prioritised due to the high density of homes, and, it is understood, the proximity to the national rugby stadium, according to a council report to be approved today at the City Chambers.

The total cost of the first of three stages, in the Stockbridge and Canonmills area, rose from about £18 million to £30m. There is also a £6m shortfall in the second stage for Murrayfield.

Mark Turley, a senior director at the local authority, wrote in the report: “A different approach is now required given the budget constraints… as it is no longer possible to provide in full the defences described in the Flood Prevention Order at this stage.”

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