En­vi­ron­ment: Sepa may add Mo­ray fish­ing vil­lage to ‘vul­ner­a­ble’ list

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEPHEN WALSH

A flood-hit Mo­ray coastal vil­lage could soon be classed as vul­ner­a­ble by en­vi­ron­men­tal ex­perts en­abling it to ac­cess funds for pro­tec­tion mea­sures.

High tides have flooded homes in Portessie three times in five years.

In Jan­uary there was up­roar when it emerged the com­mu­nity was to miss out on flood pro­tec­tion fund­ing be­cause it was not deemed “at risk” by the Scot­tish En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Agency.

Sepa’s cri­te­ria pre­vented the vil­lage from be­ing con­sid­ered be­cause it had fewer than 50 houses.

How­ever the en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion or­gan­i­sa­tion has now re­vealed it

“I hope this goes some way to al­le­vi­at­ing their anx­i­ety”

is con­sid­er­ing adding the com­mu­nity to its list of po­ten­tially vul­ner­a­ble ar­eas as part of the Na­tional Flood Risk As­sess­ment, which has been backed by Mo­ray Coun­cil.

This will mean the vil­lage is el­i­gi­ble for fund­ing in fu­ture from both Sepa and the coun­cil.

Yes­ter­day Coun­cil­lor Tim Ea­gle, Buckie ward, said the de­ci­sion would help pro­vide some re­as­sur­ance to the be­lea­guered vil­lagers that their con­cerns were be­ing lis­tened to.

He said: “Res­i­dents have un­der­stand­ably ex­pressed con­cern about flood­ing. I very much hope that this an­nounce­ment goes some way to al­le­vi­at­ing that anx­i­ety.

“How­ever, we have to ac­cept that with­out ex­tra sup­port from the Scot­tish Govern­ment it will be very dif­fi­cult for Mo­ray Coun­cil to carry out all the works we would like to un­der-

take to pro­tect our coastal com­mu­ni­ties. It is a hugely ex­pen­sive busi­ness and the lo­cal govern­ment fund­ing pack­age we re­ceive does not seem to take into ac­count the ex­tra costs coun-

cils with long coast­lines, like Mo­ray, in­cur in pro­tect­ing their com­mu­ni­ties.”

It is also pro­posed that the Po­ten­tial Vul­ner­a­ble Area sta­tus af­forded to Newmill be ex­tended to in­clude

Keith in recognition of a sur­face wa­ter prob­lem.

The author­ity is de­vel­op­ing a sur­face wa­ter man­age­ment plan for Mo­ray, and Keith has been iden­ti­fied as a pri­or­ity area.

Mo­ray MP Dou­glas Ross added: “It is very im­por­tant that res­i­dents in our coastal com­mu­ni­ties are pro­vided with as much re­as­sur­ance as pos­si­ble when it comes to flood­ing.”

FLOOD RISK: Storm surf en­ters the gar­dens of houses in Portessie where homes have been flooded three times in five years

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