Flood scheme objectors meet MP and MSP

A group of objectors to the controversial £25 million flood protection and regeneration scheme for the Whitesands, Dumfries met with two local parliamentarians this week.

They discussed their detailed concerns with Dumfries and Galloway MP Alister Jack and Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell.

The meeting at Mr Jack's Academy Street, Dumfries offices was attended by residents living near the Whitesands or in other riverside areas of the town who fear they could be affected by the project.

The Save Our Sands (SOS) campaign was also represented.

Local business people, some who had lived with the impact of flooding for decades, voiced concerns about the current proposals.

Issues raised included the high project cost, loss of convenient parking spaces and riverside views and potential hydrological and ecological impact on the Whitesands stretch of the river and elsewhere.

The meeting coincided with an official pre-inquiry hearing in Dumfries in advance of a public inquiry later this year.

Following the meeting at his offices, Alister Jack pledged his full support and said he was impressed by the expertise and level of research his constituents had gathered in advance of the inquiry.

He said: "There are clearly a number of less costly alternative flood protection options to those currently proposed which would be less damaging to the scenic character of the Whitesands and to the wider town centre economy.

"It is vital they are all given full consideration during the inquiry process."

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."