Property Flood Resilience - Questions and Answers

What is Property Flood Resilience (PFR)?

PFR provides property owners with practical and cost-effective measures to help reduce flood risk, through identifying products which are appropriate for the type of flooding experienced, the property itself and the needs of home and business owners. There are a range of measures which can be used to limit water entry including barriers on windows and doors; use of non-return valves to prevent backing-up of floodwaters; automatically closing airbricks; and, pump systems for groundwater flood risks. More options are available, all of which aim to reduce flood damage and enhance peace of mind.

What are the benefits of the project?         

   There are multiple benefits of the proposed project, including:

­   Improved flood resilience for properties against river and surface water flooding;

­   Reduced impacts and recovery time where a flood event exceeds the design standard of the formal scheme and PFR;

­   Property owners will be increasingly self-sufficient and resilient during a flood event;

­   Enhanced peace of mind, reduced stress and improved quality of life for property owners concerned with flood risk;

­   Businesses able to operate and trade during and after a flood event.

Why do we need the Property Flood Resilience (PFR) project? Can we just have the fluvial scheme at Millknowe and Dalaruan Street?

 The Millknowe upstream storage area and culvert replacement at Dalaruan Street will reduce fluvial (river) flooding during more frequent events, while the PFR measures will provide increased resilience during more extreme events. Properties are also impacted by frequent surface water flooding which the fluvial scheme will not address. An Options Appraisal was carried out in 2018 for a range of solutions for Campbeltown looking at options in isolation and in combination. This assessment identified the combined fluvial scheme combined with PFR to be the most economically and technically viable to boost the standard of protection to properties from both fluvial and surface water flooding.

What will the surveys entail?

The surveys will be conducted in a careful and professional manner. The survey will be delivered by experienced professionals, as arranged by Argyll and Bute Council and will not be intrusive or disruptive. For the survey to take place, the property will be visited and it will be necessary for all external areas to be accessible. Photographs will be taken which will be used purely to inform the report which details the recommended PFR measures for your property. Internal access may be required in some instances. Each survey should take approximately 90 minutes. Surveyors and Contractors will be required to submit a COVID-19 security plan prior to any works and take appropriate precautions in line with public health advice including wearing of face masks and adherence to social distancing.

When will I receive my survey report?

The project team will send the survey reports via email to property owners upon receipt from the specialist surveyor. To enable the delivery of the project, a copy will be retained by the project team and shared with relevant Council departments and the appointed contractor.

What will the measures look like?

Each of the PFR measures available (i.e. barriers on windows and doors; use of non-return vales to prevent backing-up of floodwaters; automatically closing airbricks) will vary in appearance. Following the survey and/or prior to the installation of measures, property owners will be able to review visual representations of measures to be installed along with dimensions etc. to inform their decision making. It should be noted some features will be demountable such as barriers for doors and windows or others may be permeant e.g. a watertight PVC flood door.

What level of works will be required for the PFR measures??

Every effort will be made to ensure that impacts during installation are kept to a minimum. Impacts will depend upon the measures being installed, however some will be installed within one hour, with minimal interruption. Impacts are likely to include low-level noise, and would be similar to if you were having other minor works completed on your property.

What are the project costs?

The cost of the project will be dependent upon the number of properties which sign-up to the initiative. Detailed assessment has ensured that the proposed works are cost-effective, allowing for careful use of public funds.

This means that there is no cost associated with the provision of the survey to the property owner. The provision and installation of PFR measures will also be at no cost to the property owner, except where they request upgrades to the measures e.g. door handles, certain door colours. Some PFR measures to listed buildings may also require a contribution from the owner where full funding cannot be provided. This is due to the historic nature of the building and restrictions on the materials which can be used. Where any contribution is required from the owner, this will be clearly explained and there will be no obligation for them to proceed past the survey.

The project will be 80% funded by Scottish Government Flood Risk Management Budget and the remaining 20% allocated from Argyll and Bute Council capital funding. Measures to be installed will be identified and prioritised through a professional survey. In some cases, the money available may not cover all the recommended options, however the Council will seek to deliver the priority works recommended by the survey to achieve the best cost benefit.

How can I help deliver / get more involved with the project?

The best way to help deliver the project is providing your continued support, recognising the benefits it will deliver to your property and your local community. To contribute towards the successful delivery of the project, please promote the project to neighbours and businesses who live in the area and encourage them to be involved.

Will I need to sign a legal agreement?

You will not need to sign a legal agreement to have a survey performed at your property. If you wish to have PFR measures installed based upon the survey findings, you will need to sign a legal agreement to confirm you agree to have the measures installed and acknowledge that the Council cannot accept any liability for the success or failure of the flood resilience measures You are under no obligation to sign a legal agreement after the survey is conducted. The terms and conditions of the legal agreement will be explained to you prior to signing and should you have any further questions, Argyll and Bute Council would be happy to answer them. You would, of course, be entitled to consult your own solicitor at your own cost regarding the terms of the agreement prior to signing.

Who will own and be responsible for the maintenance of the PFR measures?

The ownership and maintenance of the PFR measures will rest with property owners following installation. PFR will create self-reliance for the residents to operate measures when required. Maintenance requirements will be discussed in more detail should property owners choose to have PFR measures installed.

What are the timescales for all this work?

With your assistance in getting the necessary paperwork signed off the Council is aiming to complete the installation works to all properties before the end of February 2022.

What is the Council’s Commitment?

The Council has secured the funding and will oversee the delivery of the project. However, although product warranties will be in place, the Council cannot accept any liability for the success or failure of the flood resilience measures. Residents wishing to benefit from any measures installed as part of this scheme will be required to accept responsibility for the future maintenance and effectiveness of these once installed.