Works are now underway at the Leggate in New Cumnock as part of the £4.7m Flood Protection Scheme.
Contractor Barhale Construction PLC has been appointed to construct phase one of the flood prevention works that will take in the region of 18 weeks to complete.
Preparatory works have already been completed on site including the diversion of a major high pressure water main. The water main diversion was a significant part of the project with the work being carried out by Innovative Utilities (UK) Ltd.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council was joined at the Leggate by Councillor Jim Roberts, Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure; local elected members Councillors Billy Crawford, Jim McMahon, Jacqui Todd and Walter Young and representatives from the local community.
Councillor Douglas Reid said: “The flood prevention works will protect the properties in the immediate vicinity of the Connel Burn from future flooding. The works will be a combination of engineering measures, earth embankments and reinforced concrete walls that have been specially designed to contain any flood waters within the Connel Burn. Our contractors will also be re-profiling the ground and the existing burn bank to allow excess waters to be re-directed downstream of the Connel Burn Bridge.
“Once this phase of work is completed the Roads Maintenance Unit will adjust the profile of the B741 carriageway to complement the works.
“I am really pleased that the works have now started and I would like to thank the local community for their support and their patience. The flooding that they experienced in the past was devastating and we are committed to ensuring that homes are protected and safe by developing this extensive flood prevention scheme.”
Later this year, phase two of the works will start with flood prevention measures being installed along both banks of the Afton Water, New Cumnock that will protect homes on either side of the river.
Discussions are ongoing with the Statutory Undertakers and also with local landowners to ensure that all access permissions are agreed to allow construction work to go ahead as soon as is possible.
Councillor Jim Roberts said: “I am very pleased that our contractors are on site and that work has started on the New Cumnock Flood Prevention Scheme. The works at the Leggate and at Afton Water are complicated and require detailed planning. Phase two will see earth bunds and concrete walls being erected on both sides of the Afton Water; protecting homes from future flooding.
“We are pleased that due to the advanced development of the project by the Council, the Scottish Government has agreed to provide significant funding of up to 80% of the eligible costs involved in delivering these important flood management schemes. Overall, it is great news for New Cumnock that this long standing issue is being addressed.”
Councillor Jim McMahon, Cabinet Member for Older People and Community Safety and local member for Cumnock and New Cumnock said: “I’m delighted to see the flood prevention works started at the Connel Burn. It should go a long way to alleviate the fears and anxieties regarding flooding the residents in Connel Park have endured over many years.
“Thankfully, East Ayrshire Council secured the funding from the Scottish Government, and New Cumnock was given priority over other areas throughout Scotland that had previously endured flooding. Delays due to unexpected problems were a concern at the outset but have now been overcome.
“All going well, once work is completed at the Connel Burn, we should see the start of the works on the Afton flood defences.”
Councillor Jacqui Todd, local member for Cumnock and New Cumnock said: “I am pleased to note the commencement of the flood prevention measures. I remain committed to ensuring that phase one and two of the works are completed as swiftly as possible so that the local community do not have the worry and uncertainty that has plagued them for the past few years.”
Councillor Billy Crawford, local member for Cumnock and New Cumnock said: “I would just like to take this opportunity to say how pleased I am to see the flood prevention scheme started, it has taken four years to progress and despite the public’s perception that’s quick work.
“I feel I also have to personally thank the former MSP, Graeme Pearson for his efforts in getting the scheme under way”.
Councillor Walter Young, local member for Cumnock and New Cumnock said: “I would mirror Councillor Crawford’s thanks to the former MSP Graeme Pearson who supported the community and worked tirelessly in getting the scheme moving.”