Flood defence decision delay
The future of the £25 million Whitesands flood defence scheme might not be decided until 2020.
An update on the project is due to be presented to members of the economy, environment and infrastructure committee on Tuesday.
The report will discuss the “difficulty at this stage to provide details of a timeline” of a public inquiry for a number of reasons.
It could take months for the Scottish Government and Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) to allocate the issue to a suitable reporter.
A venue is also required for the inquiry, following which the reporter will submit findings to Scottish Ministers for a final decision. But according to next week’s report that could take “up to 24 months”.
The price tag for the probe will not be known until details are presented but the council is expected to meet its own costs for any investigation.
Whoever is appointed as the reporter may arrange a “preexamination meeting” to discuss how the inquiry will be handled, topics to be addressed and the timing.
A more detailed timescale and cost estimate for the inquiry may be known at that point.
However, a pre-examination meeting is not mandatory.
There are three potential outcomes for the public inquiry. They are to confirm the scheme without modifications, confirm with modifications or to reject it.
When plans emerged for the proposed flood defence project the Save Our Sands campaign group was formed to oppose it.
Thousands of people signed the petition against the flood defence scheme citing a loss of views, car parking, the cost and the impact on Devorgilla Bridge.
In June members of the council agreed to confirm the scheme without modifications and to notify Scottish Ministers of the decision.
Three months later the Scottish Government announced ministers had confirmed it would be called in.
How it would look The proposed scheme for the Whitesands