Flood funding sought for Oban

Argyll and Bute Council will engage with the Scottish Government to try and secure additional resource to mitigate flooding issues in Oban.

This decision was taken at the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee on Thursday (20 June).

This funding would be required to carry out major work, such as attenuation, water storage and general measures aimed at mitigating or minimising disruption from severe weather events that have caused serious flooding in Oban’s Lochavullin area. 

Realistically, this work could require funding reaching tens of millions of pounds. 

Some locations in Oban are affected by flooding from both rivers, water courses and tidal surge from the sea. During high spring tides, which can be made worse by tidal surge, sea water will flood into the Black Lynne burn. During and following storm conditions, the Black Lynn is overwhelmed by storm water.

Once waters reach a certain height, the pumping system in Lochavullin car park has nowhere to pump the water to.

The consequences of these events cause serious disruption to businesses, closed roads and affect access to services.

An initial flood study has been carried out which has identified a range of mitigation measures. These would include attenuation for storm water, and sea defences to prevent flooding from tidal surge. 

The council has been successful in securing this type of funding in the past, for example to deliver the flood prevention scheme in Campbeltown. There is no indication when this funding is likely to be available again. Projects are prioritise by the funders and currently SEPA prioritises residential property above retail when assessing and allocating funding.

There are a number of short and medium term actions that the council will undertake, including:

  • Replacing the existing pumps at Lochavullin and raising the control unit.
  • Inspecting the Black Lynn burn and noting obstructions requiring clearance. SEPA will be required to provide consents before clearance work can be carried out.
  • Specialist consultants will carry out topographic and bathymetric surveys, and a hydrologic study.
  • Drainage survey to assess if there are any short-term improvements to help address specific issues affecting tenants.

These proposed works will be costed for funding from existing budgets or through external sources.

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