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Glasgow to get new flood defences

Scottish environment minister Michael Russell has announced a new multi-million funding package for flood defence schemes in Glasgow and in the Western Isles.

The White Cart Water scheme to relieve 1,750 flood prone homes and businesses in the south of Glasgow will receive £18M and a raft of coastal defence and highway schemes on the islands a further £700,000.

Speaking exclusively to NCE after the announcement last week, Russell the White Cart scheme would provide valuable lessons in the use of natural and sustainable flood defences and in the use of agricultural land for flood storage.

The scheme will see three flood storage reservoirs built upstream of Glasgow at Blackhouse, Kirkland Bridge and Kittoch Bridge with 9ha of permanent wetlands also created.

"We are going to have to do a lot of these schemes," said Russell. "We want to see solutions which deploy a mix of soft and hard measures," he said.

In addition to the soft engineering, 8km of flood defence walls will be built where the water runs through the south of the city.

Glasgow City Council (GCC) set a target notional wall height of 1.2m, but wall will be up to 1.8m high in places.

GCC project manager Sandy Gillon said that the water levels could have been controlled entirely from upstream but that a balance had to be struck in cost benefit terms.

"At 1.2m the wall is unobtrusive and doesn't cut anyone off."

Gillon said that the scheme was on target for completion in late 2010. "We are assessing the bids for the upstream contract at present and hope to start on site by the end of the year. Invitations to tender for the urban work will be issued in the next few days with a start in the first part of 2008 envisaged."

The Western Isles announcement comes after criticism of inaction following the deaths of five people in South Uist nearly three years ago when their car was swept away during a storm.

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