Nov 23 2011 By Doug Archibald, Dumfries Standard Wednesday
FLOODING fears have forced the latest phase in a massive housing development before councillors.
Protesters believe construction so far is exacerbating a build-up of surface water at the Marchfield site in Dumfries.
And they say that can only mean a real flooding risk.
But planners are recommending Story Homes is given the go-ahead today to up another 217 homes on the site.
It’s part of a massive housing development on the east of the town, bounded by the Lockerbie Road, Edinburgh Road and the bypass.
This particular phase, which included roads, drainage and landscaping, will be alongside the Caledonian cycleway, Marchhill Drive and Marchmount Avenue and the Ladypark Wildlife Reserve.
Loreburn Community Council is leading the protest.
Their objection claims the main issue is a build-up of surface or drainage water in the basin south of the distributor road built in the southern part of the site.
It argues water levels have increased and the problem is not present all the year round.
"This never happened before the construction of the southern distributor road which now acts as a dam and stops the surface drainage water flowing out its normal channel to the nature reserve and hence into the River Nith," the objection states.
And the issue has to be sorted out before building can start "as the Scottish Government has stated quite clearly".
The community council’s stance is backed by nine residents who have also objected.
They are also worried that the development is destroying what was originally a rural location.
And they fear for the impact on wildlife with frogs and toads "resident within the marshy area" where hawks and deer can also be seen.
The planning applications committee will be told the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is happy surface drainage plans "are appropriate".
And they are not worried about flood risks although they do say the council’s flood prevention officials should deal with the fears of objectors.
And the council’s flood risk officer points out the site in general already has planing permission which includes a number of conditions relating to surface drainage.
"If these conditions are met, the flood risk officer has no objection to the development as it would appear the site is of low risk of flooding," case officer Mhairi Duff says in a report.