News

December 2014

  • RJ McLeod was named as the preferred bidder for the Main Works Contract for the Selkirk FPS. Click here to read the Press Release which was issued on Tuesday 2nd December. The contract was formally signed on Tuesday 16th December and RJ McLeod will officially start on site on Monday 5th January 2015 although, in reality it will be February before any significant construction activity starts.
  • Phase 2 of our tree and vegetation clearance operations was finished, on programme, just before Christmas. Clearance is still required in a handful of areas – most notably behind Oregon Timber on the A7 and at Raeburn Place – this work will be undertaken as required during the Main Works.
  • During the Main Works, a flood protection wall will be constructed along the Mill Lade behind the houses on Ettrickhaugh Road. This work required a corridor to be cleared behind the houses to allow a safe working area to be established. It was therefore necessary to undertake clearance work in each of the back gardens – which included moving or replacing a number of sheds, removing decks and shrubs / trees and erecting a temporary fence. This was undertaken following extensive consultation with each of the householders. On completion, these gardens will be reinstated.
  • The sewer diversion on Dunsdale Haugh continued and the full road closure was lifted, on programme, on Friday 19th December. Work on this diversion will continue in the new year with temporary traffic lights in operation.
  • A Scottish Power diversion was completed at the western end of Ettrickhaugh Road. The existing cable crossed the Mill Lade on the footbridge between Lauriston Cottage and the horse’s field and, as this footbridge is being replaced during the Main Works and there will be significant construction activity in this area, it was necessary to divert the cable. The cable was diverted along behind the horse’s field, over the Mill Lade on a temporary public utility bridge along the side of the field and then back along Ettrickhaugh Road in front of Ettrickhaugh Cottages. This work required temporary parking restrictions but the road remained open throughout the work. It was completed on programme on 19th December.
  • Work on the construction of the Corby Linn Temporary Access Road is nearing completion – it is expected that this road will be fully operational by the Middle of January 2015. This road is required to ensure continuity of access during public utility diversion work on Corby Linn Road as well as during the construction a flood defence wall / localised road raising work during the Main Works in 2015 and 2016.
  • Work started on a diversion of overhead high voltage power lines on Philiphaugh Estate (in the field immediately north of the Ettrick Water). This work is being undertaken by Scottish Power on behalf of the Scheme to ensure that the power lines are not affected by construction of the Scheme. This is a temporary diversion and the lines will be relocated on completion of the Main Works in this area.
  • The Advanced Works Contractor (SBcContracts) relocated their site compound to Ettrick Park. This was to allow RJ McLeod access to the site on South Bridge Street to establish the Main Works Main Site Compound in early 2015.
  • November 2014

  • The Tenders for the Main Works Contract were submitted at the beginning of November. These were reviewed and scored by designated members of the Procurement Working Group. The bids were reviewed against a pre-defined scoring matrix. The results of this review were discussed by the Project Board on Wednesday 26th November and the Project Board gave unanimous approval for the preferred bidder (the contractor who had achieved the highest score) to be notified following final due diligence checks. This is a significant milestone for the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme and is thought to be one of the highest value contracts ever awarded by Scottish Borders Council. The Project Board recorded its thanks to Conor Price and Steven Vint, the Senior Project Manager for SBC and Design Manager for CH2M Hill respectively, for their work and effort over the past 5 years in bringing the project to this important stage.
  • Work continued on the construction of the temporary access road at Corby Linn – this included the installation of a temporary road bridge. This bridge will be in place throughout the Main Works and will ensure continuity of access for the properties in this area during works on Corby Linn Road. Aerial photographs of this work can be viewed below and a time-lapsed video of the bridge being installed can be viewed here
  • Work continued in Oregon Timber’s car park and in the plot of land opposite Oregon, next to Dash Components and Allied Storage, on the diversion of three sewer pipes. This work also requires the three pipes to be laid along Dunsdale Haugh to connect these sections. The sewer diversion had been designed to be undertaken with a single lane closure and temporary traffic lights however when the excavation was opened on Dunsdale Haugh poor ground conditions were encountered necessitating a full road closure. This closure took effect on 24th November and the road will reopen on 19th December. A press release which was issued regarding this closure can be viewed here.
  • Tree and vegetation clearance work continued in a number of areas including along the Riverside footpath, the Dunsdale Haugh area, the area around Murray’s Cauld and along the Mill Lade.
  • The Project Team continued to make arrangements for garden clearance work behind the houses at the east end of Ettrickhaugh Road. This clearance is required to create a safe working corridor to enable the flood defence wall to be constructed along this section of the Mill Lade. This work will begin on 3rd December and is expected to be complete by Christmas.
  • Work began in the Cannon Street & Bridge Street areas with the laying of new water pipes. This work, which is a diversion from pipes which currently run under the field to the east of Cannon Street, is being undertaken by Scottish Water. In addition a new Scottish Gas pipe is being laid along Bridge Street. These pipes will connect to the new pipes which were laid under the Ettrick Water during the summer months. In this instance Scottish Water and Scottish Gas Networks are taking advantage of the Scheme in this area to simultaneously improve their networks.
  • Work continued on Riverside Road and along South Bridge Street on significant public utility diversion works. In this area water, gas, electrical and BT infrastructure is being relocated.
  • Despite significant activity on both sides of Bridge Street footbridge, the Project Team was able to programme and structure the work such that the footbridge could be reopened following the installation of the temporary public utility bridge last month and the removal of the scaffolding from the bridge deck which had been required during the operation to install the PU bridge. This is a direct response to comments received during previous closures of the footbridge.
  • Following the construction of the temporary access road for Selkirk Community Recycling Centre and the closure of Level Crossing Road for public utility diversion work and tree felling operations, RP Adam delivery & collection vehicles started using the temporary access road and the CRC to access the RP Adam’s site on Level Crossing Road. This may require short closures (of approx. 5 minutes) of the CRC to allow these vehicles to safely pass through.
  • October 2014

  • Work was completed on the modification of three jetties at St. Mary’s Loch. This work is required to compensate for the lowering of the normal level of the loch as a result of the Main Works and to ensure that the jetties can all be used in the future.
  • Work continued on the tree and vegetation clearance in Bannerfield, Riverside and along the Mill Lade.
  • Selkirk Community Recycling Centre was closed for 5 days from Monday 20th October to allow works to be undertaken with in the site. The CRC reopened on Saturday 25th October from which date access will be via the new access road at Dunsdalehaugh. There will be no change to either the CRCs hours of operation or the services on offer.
  • Work continued on the diversion of a Scottish Water water pipe along Dunsdale Haugh and preparations continued for the diversion of three sewer pipes, also along Dunsdale Haugh. A satellite Site Compound was set up opposite Oregon Timber for the storage of plant and equipment required for diversion work in this area.
  • A temporary Public Utility (PU) bridge was installed immediately downstream of Bridge Street footbridge. The PU bridge, shown below, will carry the BT and Scottish Power cables which are currently on the existing footbridge during construction of the replacement Bridge Street footbridge at some point during the Main Works. The temporary structure is cantilevered from three of the five piers of the existing footbridge. The new footbridge will be supported by two piers, rather than five – the three which are being used to support the temporary structure will be removed during the Main Works after the new footbridge is installed.
  • The Project Team attended a Community Council Meeting at Philiphaugh Community Centre. During the meeting Conor Price, the Senior Project Manager, delivered a presentation to provide a high-level update on progress and the anticipated programme. This meeting was followed by lengthy discussions with residents of the Ettrickhaugh Road area regarding potential impacts and disruption during both imminent Advance Work PU diversion work and vegetation clearance and the Main Works
  • The Project Team met on an individual basis with many of the residents of Ettrickhaugh Road to discuss the clearance work which will be required in the gardens of the properties which back onto the Mill Lade.
  • Work progressed on a Scottish Power diversion along Riverside Road.
  • The moulds taken of the ‘Souter’s Footprints’ were lifted, as was the original artwork. Both are now being securely stored for incorporation into the Scheme during the Main Works.
  • The construction of the temporary Corby Linn access road progressed and is on course for the installation of a temporary road bridge in mid-November.
  • The Project Team met with engineers from Scottish Gas Networks and had meetings at Oregon Timber and RP Adam to discuss works in the vicinity of these businesses.
  • September 2014

  • Water and gas pipes were fed through the sleeves which had been laid beneath the Ettrick Water, immediately downstream of the footbridge. It had been hoped that this work would be completed earlier in the summer however soon after we laid the sleeves the river level rose making this work more difficult. The water and gas pipes will now be capped at both ends before being connected to the existing utility networks in advance of the footbridge being replaced during the Main Works. With the completion of this phase of this work, the river bank immediately downstream of the footbridge on the Bannerfield side was reinstated using large rocks and boulders to provide erosion protection to the banking.
  • Now that the summer bird nesting season has passed, phase 2 of our tree and vegetation clearance work commenced with the smaller trees along the river bank at Victoria Park being felled in preparation for a flood defence embankment being constructed during the Main Works. During this phase we will be clearing the areas required to enable the construction of the Scheme. This includes – but is not limited to - along the riverside footpath, at Level Crossing Road, in the Corby Linn Road area, at the southern end of ‘Angle’s field, right along the Mill Lade and behind the houses on Ettrickhaugh Road. It important to note that for every tree which we remove we are required to replant two – this is a planning condition.
  • Work restarted on the construction of the temporary access road for the Selkirk Community Recycling Centre at Dunsdalehaugh. Preparations continued for work with in the Community Recycling Centre which will be undertaken next month. The Project Team met with SBCs Waste & Recycling team on a number of occasions to plan for the work which will include laying a Scottish Water pipe and a slight reconfiguration of the site in advance of the new access road coming into operation.
  • Work progressed on a Scottish Gas diversion along Riverside Road and a Scottish Water Diversion along Dunsdalehaugh.
  • The design team continued liaising with utility providers and specialist sub-contractors to finalise the design of pubic utility diversions – these include diversions in the vicinity of Bridge Street footbridge, on Dunsdalehaugh and on Corby Linn Road.
  • Work commenced on taking a mould of the ‘Souter’s footprints’ on the south side of Bridge Street footbridge. The existing footprints will then be lifted and a new set of incorporated into the Main Works.
  • SBC’s Landscape Architecture team finalised their draft ‘soft design’ of key areas of the Scheme including the new ‘landing points’ at Bridge Street footbridge and at the Common Riding crossing point. When these plans are finalised in 2015 a final consultation with stakeholders will be undertaken.
  • Notice was given that it would necessary to close Bridge Street footbridge for extended periods of time between now and Christmas to allow for the installation of a temporary PU bridge immediately downstream of the structure to carry the BT and Scottish Power cables. Read the Press Release here.
  • The Project Team worked with a local photographer who has offered to assist in capturing aerial photographs of the areas we are in working in. The examples below show the site compound on South Bridge Street and the construction of the temporary access road for the recycling centre.
  • August 2014

  • Preparations for Phase 2 of our tree and vegetation clearance operations continued with an exercise undertaken to confirm which trees required to be felled to enable the construction of the Scheme. Essentially, it is necessary to clear significant corridors of land to allow the flood defence walls and embankments to be constructed but also to enable the temporary access roads to be constructed and substantial public utility diversion works to be completed. These preparations included discussion with the relevant landowners and land managers such that where possible significant trees could be avoided. It is worth noting that the Scheme’s Limit of Land Affected (LoLA) developed during the approval of the Scheme previously identified the corridors that would be required for works and thereby where the trees would be required to be removed from; however in all areas the Project Team is now making every effort to minimise the tree removal by reducing the width of these corridors where possible.
  • Work continued immediately downstream of Bridge Street footbridge in preparation for pulling water and gas pipes through the sleeves which were laid under the Ettrick Water in July. This work has been delayed due to difficulty in sealing the excavations due to the very permeable ground and because rising river levels mean it is proving difficult to pump enough water out of the excavation on the Bannerfield side of the works to allow the pipes to be pulled through.
  • Work in the Corbie Linn Road area has been halted to allow additional ecological surveys to be undertaken to ascertain whether Great Crested Newts are present. Previous surveys have already confirmed that no Great Crested Newts are present in this area however it was agreed with SNH that in this instance an additional survey was merited.
  • Investigations into the unforeseen ground conditions in Dunsdale Haugh at the site of the temporary alternative access road for the Selkirk Community Recycling Centre continued. Construction work in this area is currently on hold while these investigations and tests take place.
  • The contract for jetty modification works at St Mary’s Loch was awarded to Jetties & Moorings – a Windermere based company. The lowering of the normal loch level means that the waterline will retreat around the perimeter of the loch. As such, the Scheme is extending or, where necessary replacing, any existing jetties to ensure they can continue to be used once the Scheme is constructed.
  • SBC’s Landscape Architects are working on the design of key ‘transition points’ within the Scheme including the points where the flood defence walls / embankments meet the new Bridge Street footbridge and at Common Riding Crossing point.
  • A minor diversion of BT overhead lines and poles was completed in the car park at the rugby pitch to the east of A707. This was required as during the Main Works significant work will be undertaken in this area as the Long Philip Burn is diverted into a more natural, meandering, alignment.
  • The Project Team met with local businesses and residents, SEPA, Scottish Water, Scottish Power, SNH, the Bannerfield Play-park team and SBC’s Legal, Estates , Finance and Waste & Recycling teams as plans for utility diversion works and the delivery of the Scheme continued to progress.
  • Members of the project management and design teams continued to undertake accompanied site visits with representatives of the contracting organisations who have been invited to bid for the Main Works Contract.
  • July 2014

  • During the Main Works the Bridge Street footbridge will be replaced. Before removing the existing bridge it is necessary to relocate the public utilities – water, power, gas and BT – which are carried across the Ettrick Water on the bridge. The water and gas pipes will be permanently relocated through new pipes under the river just downstream of the footbridge. The power and BT cables will be moved onto a temporary pipe bridge, which will be constructed later in the year, and will then be moved into the new footbridge once it is in place.
  • In preparation for diverting the gas and water pipes under the river later in the summer, four sleeves were laid under the river at the end of July. This work was undertaken using a method developed by the Project Team, the Advance Works contractor (SBcContracts) and specialist sub-contractors (Glendinning Groundworks) in consultation with the Scheme’s environmental stakeholders (SEPA, SNH & River Tweed Commission). The method chosen allowed the ‘in-river’ work to be completed in just four days – alternative methods would have required significantly more time in the water (up to 6 weeks) and as such would have had a much greater environmental impact. The photos below shows the sleeves being laid and river after the work was complete – in the aerial photo, the ends of the pipes can be seen on the banks of the river.
  • Due to the work being undertaken immediately downstream of Bridge Street footbridge it was necessary to close the footbridge. Following consultation with local businesses and residents the decision was taken to re-programme work and prioritise activity in the vicinity of the bridge such that we could reopen it ahead of schedule. The bridge reopened on the 18th of July but it is important to note that further temporary closures will be required during both the Advanced and Main Works.
  • Phase 1 of our tree & vegetation clearance operations got underway with areas cleared downstream of Bridge Street footbridge (in preparation for public utility diversion works), opposite the Baxters building at Dunsdale Haugh (for a temporary access road to the Recycling Centre) and the Corby Linn Road area (for a temporary access road). In advance of any clearance works in these areas each tree was checked by an ecologist to ensure that there were no nesting birds present. An additional otter survey was also undertaken in the proximity of the Bridge Street footbridge.
  • The construction of the temporary alternative access road between Riverside Road and Rodgers Road was completed. This temporary road will ensure that access to the businesses and houses on Riverside Road is maintained throughout the Advance Works between now and Christmas 2014 and will also be available to use, as required, throughout the Main Works that runs throughout 2015 and 2016.
  • Construction of a temporary alternative access road for the Selkirk Community Recycling Centre (SCRC) commenced but had to be stopped due to unforeseen ground conditions. Investigations are underway and it is hoped work will restart in early August. This temporary road is required to ensure continuity of access to the SCRC and the businesses on Level Crossing Road during the public utility diversion work on Level Crossing Road this autumn. The temporary road will also be available for use, as required, throughout the Main Works.
  • Representatives of the Project Team undertook accompanied site visits with representatives of the contracting organisations who have been invited to tender for the Main Works Contract. These visits enable the contractors to gain a greater understand of the works required and the local infrastructure and environment.
  • Preparations continued for the protection of the ‘Souter’s Footprints’ artwork at the southern end of Bridge Street footbridge. With the construction of the Victoria Park flood defence embankment and the installation of the new Bridge Street footbridge during the Main Works, the ground level in this area will be raised. As a result, the ‘Souter’s Footprints’ will need to be moved, however it is felt unlikely that it will be possible to lift the existing feature intact. As such we are planning to take a mould of the feature and then use this mould to incorporate a new set of the existing footprints into the flood defence scheme. To prepare for this work the Project Team met with a representative of RECKLI – a company that have specialist skills in taking moulds of features and artefacts.
  • The project team held meetings with residents of the Corbie Linn area to discuss extensive public utility diversion works. These meetings were hugely valuable in confirming the existing network of services and connections to properties and in informing ongoing discussions with utility providers as the design of diversions is finalised.
  • The project team continued to liaise closely with the team undertaking the upgrade of Bannerfield Play Park. Given that the two projects have been designed to share a boundary and that the construction phases will overlap it is intended that the teams will continue to work together to deliver benefits for both projects. As an example, the Selkirk FPS is hoping to be able to provide material which will be used to construct large landscaped ‘mounds’ with in the play park. This will save the play park team having to import fill material.
  • The design of utility diversions continued to progress with a number of meetings held between the project team, the Advance Work Contractor (SBcContracts) and the various utility providers to finalise arrangements.
  • June 2014

  • Preparatory work for the Scheme’s Advanced Works Contract got underway with the temporary site compound being set up on South Bridge Street at the site of the former Bridgeheugh Dye-works. This site, which the Scheme purchased on behalf of the Council in 2013, will be used as the main site compound for both the Advanced and Main Works Contract. Following the completion of the Advance Works Contract (in December 2014, the site compound will be re-configured by the main works contractor with new accommodation, storage and car parking.
  • Construction work on the Scheme was formally started on Tuesday 24th June with a sod-cutting ceremony at Victoria Park. The Minister for the Environment, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, and the Leader of Scottish Borders Council, David Parker, officiated at the ceremony which was also attended by the three Selkirk Councillors and representatives of the Project Board, the Project Team and SBcContracts (the Scheme’s Advance Works Contractor). An SBC Press Release about this can be read here and a photo of the ceremony viewed below.
  • Sod-cutting Ceremony
  • The report from the archaeological survey which was undertaken in April 2014 by AOC Archaeology was received. This survey involved metal detection and trial trenching of the triangular field and at Old Mill Farm. Metal detecting was also undertaken at the field on Ettrickhaugh Road and along sections of the Mill Lade. In addition a ‘historic building survey’ of the Mill Lade wall behind the properties on Ettrickhaugh Road was completed. The metal detecting surveys and trial trenches uncovered the occasional coin and button from the modern era but no significant artefacts of historical interest were found.
  • Senior members of the Project Team and appropriate Council officers undertook a full evaluation of the pre-Qualification Questionnaires which had been submitted by 16 contractors who were interested in tendering for the Main Works Contract. All completed questionnaires were independently reviewed and scored against pre-determined criteria by the appropriate member of the evaluation team. The evaluation team then met and following due deliberation agreed upon a final score for each submission. Following this process the contractors who had achieved the best scores were invited to prepare tenders for the Main Works Contract. A deadline of late October was set for the return of tenders.
  • To enable us to undertake the works it will be necessary for us to take access to private land. Discussions regarding this have been ongoing for a number of years and as such land-owners should be aware of this requirement. The Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009, through which the Scheme has been approved, requires us to give land owners and occupiers 7 days notice before we take access to any private land. We issued the first of these ‘7 Day Notices’ at the beginning of June and will constantly be reviewing areas we require access to. Where possible we will give more than the minimum of 7 days notice. These notices are issued with a formal letter which details the requirement and gives the earliest date from when we will need access and also the end date of the notice. The notice also includes a plan showing the area of land we require access to and a form which can be used to claim compensation for any definable and quantifiable loss experienced as a direct result of the land being occupied by the Scheme.
  • Representatives of the Project Team met with Forestry Commission Scotland to review how best to manage the tree and vegetation clearance associated with the works. We also held meetings with a number of utility providers to continue preparations for the public utility diversions which will be undertaken during the works, as well as meetings with a number of landowners and many council officers..
  • The Environment and Climate Change Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, and Scottish Borders Council Leader, David Parker, officially marked the start of the construction of the Scheme at a Sod-Cutting ceremony at Victoria Park on Tuesday 24th June. A Scottish Government Press Release regarding this can be viewed here.
  • May 2014

  • The Pre-qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) for the Scheme was published along with the necessary OJEU notice. Under European Law, all Contractors in Europe must be made aware of major projects, through the OJEU notice, and given the opportunity, through the PQQ, to demonstrate that they would be capable of delivering the construction phase of the Scheme. Following the submission deadline, all completed PQQs are scored, using a pre-determined scoring system - in this case by senior members of the Project Team and members of SBC’s Procurement and Finance Teams. Following the PQQ scoring and review process, those Contracting organisations which best demonstrated their capability of delivering the Scheme will receive Invitations to Tender for the Main Works Contract. The Invitations to Tender are expected to be issued in about mid-June and the Contracting organisations will get three to four months to prepare and submit their Tenders.
  • Preparations for the Advance Works Public Utility diversions progressed with the project team continuing to liaise closely with representatives of all affected utility providers (Scottish Water, BT, and Scottish Gas Networks), the designers and specialist contractors. A number of site visits were undertaken to discuss and plan this work.
  • The Project Team continued work on the tree and vegetation management plan – with the Advanced Works getting underway in the middle of June, it will be necessary to undertake localised tree and vegetation clearance in a number of areas around Selkirk. At least 2 trees will be replanted for every one felled to deliver the Scheme.
  • The Project Team met with representatives of SBc Contracts (SBcC), who will be the contractor for the Advance Works, to begin preparations for delivery phase of these works. SBcC will be based in a temporary site compound on South Bridge Street for the duration of these works, which are expected to last for around 20 weeks.
  • The Project Manager (SBC) and Design Manager (CH2M Hill) delivered a presentation entitled ‘Delivering a major Flood Protection Scheme under the Flood Risk Management Act’ to the Edinburgh Area Branch of the Institution of Civil Engineers. The Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme is one of the first in Scotland to be delivered under this Act and as such many important and valuable lessons are being learned during the development of the Scheme.
  • The Project Team undertook a full site walkover with members of SBC’s Landscape Architecture team to discuss the opportunity for developing enhanced landscaped areas at both ends of the new Bridge Street footbridge, around the Common Riding crossing point and at the entrance to the new park area along the Long Philip Burn.
  • In preparation for the Invitations to Tender being distributed in June, the full review of the Specification, other Contract documentation and Detail Design drawings was continued.
  • The Project Team met with a specialist contractor at St. Mary’s Loch to discuss the work which will be necessary at three jetties around the loch to offset against the effects of the Scheme. The St. Mary’s Loch Intelligent Water Management System which will be implemented at the outlet of the loch will result in the normal level of loch being reduced by approx. 390mm and an associated retreat of the water-line. As such, it will be necessary to undertake modifications to the three jetties.
  • The Project Team met which the SBC team taking forward the Bannerfield Play Park project. This was an opportunity for both teams to provide an update, discuss the construction phases of the projects and how any overlaps will be managed.
  • April 2014

  • The Project Team hosted a Community Meeting at Selkirk Rugby Club for the residents of the Ettrickhaugh Road area. The purpose of this meeting was to provide an update on the Scheme and to discuss the works which will take place along the Mill Lade and how these may affect residents. Around 35 people, representing the majority of properties along the road, attended this presentation and took part in a lengthy question and answer session, providing valuable comments and feedback to the Project Team.
  • The Scheme’s Pre-Construction Archaeology Survey (at Old Mill Farm, the Mill Lade, Angles Field and Bannerfield) was completed. This work consisted of significant areas being metal-detected; trial trenches being dug to confirm the actual contents of the ground; and historic building surveys being undertaken. The results of this survey are expected with in the next few weeks and will be summarised in the news update at the end on May.
  • Ground Investigations on the gravel island at Bridge Street footbridge continued, with a borehole being dug just before Easter. The results of this investigation are also expected with in the next few weeks. This new ground investigation was necessary for the ongoing design of the replacement footbridge.
  • Members of the Project Team were invited to attend St. Mary’s Loch Sailing Club’s season launching ‘Cheese & Wine’ to discuss the work which will take place around the loch and specifically in the vicinity of the Sailing Club. The team was pleased to attend this event and was able to discuss the works with a number of club members.
  • Arrangements for the commencement of the Main Works Contract procurement continued apace and are still on programme for Invitations to Tender to be issued in June 2014. As part of this work a full review of the Detailed Design drawings and Project Specification, which will be issued within the Tender Packages, was undertaken.
  • The Project Team met with representatives of Forestry Commission Scotland to discuss the Scheme’s tree felling requirements and replanting proposals.
  • Preparations for the advanced service diversion work, which will take place over the summer months, continued, with the Project Team continuing to liaise closely with the relevant service providers.
  • The proposed diversions of Scottish Water Sewers were signed off and this diversion work is now being programmed. It is estimated that this work will be commencing from early summer so a full update on these proposals will be provided in May 2014.
  • The proposed diversion of Scottish Gas Networks (SGN) apparatus was also agreed and as with the sewers the detailed programming and planning of this work has now commenced.
  • Preparations for the jetty modification and fence extension work around St. Mary’s Loch, which will also take place over the summer months, continued. A site visit with a specialist contractor is planned for next month.
  • John Myles and Paul Keehan joined the Project Team as Project Manager and Assistant Project Manager respectively. Conor Price remains on the project as Senior Project Manager and will head up the Project Management Team through the construction stage.
  • The Project Team held a Risk Workshop to continue to review and understand the major risks which could have an impact on the Scheme’s delivery. In particular this was focused on how the risks will be shared between the Council and the Main Works Contractor.
  • The Project Team advanced their analysis of Scheme Opportunities and agreement has been reached on how opportunities relating to the built and natural environment will be defined. This work will be managed by the Council’s Landscape Officers for the Scheme and each of the specific opportunities will be developed into a defined proposal with an estimated cost and route for delivery. For example, there is an opportunity to enhance the area around the Common Riding crossing of the Ettrick Water. This opportunity need to be developed and the Common Riding Committee and the people of Selkirk need to be engaged in this discussion. It is assumed that these opportunities can then be delivered once the major construction works in this area are complete, assuming general approval is achieved in the interim.
  • Finally, the Detailed Design of the St. Mary’s Loch Flood Storage Option was ongoing. This was not completed in February due to its late commencement but is now substantially complete. The proposed replacement of the Fish Pass was reviewed by SEPA and the River Tweed Commission and it is more-or-less agreed that the new “Fish Way” will be a substantial improvement. Engagement has also been ongoing with the Ettrick & Yarrow Community Council and the Ettrick & Yarrow Tourism Group, amongst others, about the proposals for the bottom of St. Mary’s Loch.
  • March 2014

  • On 28 March the Council was informed that its application for Capital Grant Funding for the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme had been successful and that Scottish Ministers have agreed to provide 80% of the Scheme’s Total Scheme Cost of 31.4M. This announcement means that the Scheme is now fully approved, has the required planning permission and is fully funded and therefore ensures that the Scheme will be constructed. A press release issued by SBC to announce this news can be viewed here
  • After a competitive tendering process, the contract to undertake the Pre-Construction Archaeology survey was awarded to AOC Archaeology Group. The Project Team held a pre-start meeting with AOC to formally plan this survey. This work will be undertaken during April – for more details please click here.
  • Ground Investigations began around Bridge Street footbridge – these investigations will involve Non-Destructive Testing of the steel sheet piles around one of the piers, a concrete sample being taken from one of the piers and a borehole being sunk on the gravel island. The purpose of these investigations is to inform the detailed design of the replacement footbridge, which is now underway and will be concluded in the coming weeks.
  • The Project Team met with a number of St Mary’s Loch residents during a Stakeholder Day on 13 March. The purpose of these meetings was to discuss jetty modification and fence extension work which will be required as a result of the ‘normal’ loch level being lowered. Preparation for this work is now underway and the work itself is likely to take place during the summer months.
  • The Project Team continued preparations for the commencement of the Main Works Contract Procurement. A specialist working group was established to advise the Project Team on outstanding issues related to this matter. It is currently anticipated that the OJEU Notice will be published during the last week of April 2014 and that the tender invitations will be issued in May / June 2014.
  • The Project Team continued to engage with stakeholders across Selkirk. In particular, these meetings during March focused on stakeholders that require to formally consider and approve the completed Detail Design.
  • February 2014

  • Preparation for the Pre-Construction Archaeology Survey continued, with three organisations being invited to submit tenders for this work. This survey will involve both metal detecting work and trial trenches along the routes of both the Philiphaugh defences and realignment of the Long Philip Burn.
  • The Project Team hosted a Community Meeting at Cappercleuch Hall for the residents of the Yarrow Valley and the St Mary’s Loch area. The purpose of this meeting was to provide an update on the Scheme and give a presentation on the proposed St. Mary’s Loch Intelligent Water Management System. This system will allow improved management ability at the outlet of the loch during both very wet and very dry periods. This meeting was attended by approx. 30 people the presentation which was followed by a detailed and robust questions and answers session.
  • On the 27 February at a full meeting of Scottish Borders Council, the Councillors approved the commencement of both Stage 7 (Procurement of a Contractor) and Stage 8 (Construction) of the Scheme, both subject to the provision of Scottish Government funding.
  • A press release was issued to provide public notice of the decision of the Council.
  • The project team held Design Review Meeting number 5 to continue to work through the Detail Design.
  • The main body of the Detailed Design of the Scheme was completed on 28 February 2014. This was therefore completed on programme and to budget, which is considered a major achievement by the Project Team. The Detail Design of the SML Option is not yet complete. This is now programmed to be completed by the end of April 2014. This is running behind the original programme as the agreement with Scottish Water was only completed in December 2013.
  • It was expected that the Scottish Government would complete their review of the Scheme’s Application for 80% Capital Grant Funding by week commencing 24 February 2014. Unfortunately this date passed and the best available indication is that they will inform the Scheme of their decision during March 2014.
  • The Project Team went on a site visit to the Galashiels FPS in the Netherdale area to learn from the construction experience of their project team and SBcContracts (who are the Main Construction Contractor).
  • January 2014

  • KPMG completed their audit of the Scheme’s Financial Management System and presented a report on their findings to the Project Team. This has since been reviewed by the Project Board and an overview of their findings has been distributed throughout the Council, as appropriate. In summary, they determined that: from a project management; adherence to guidelines & regulations; financial management; risk management and cost estimation perspective the Scheme has robust systems that are in accordance with recommendations provided by HM Treasury and industry best practice.
  • The Detail Design of the Scheme entered its final stage. CH2M Hill has been producing the detail design drawings and the Council have been reviewing these drawings. The output from this activity will be the final detail design drawings that will be included in the tender packages later in the spring. As appropriate, the project team are bringing these draft drawings back to stakeholders for their review / approval. These drawings contain the detail design information of the Outline Design that was presented at Public Exhibition No. 2 (in May 2012). Towards the summer of 2014 it is intended to provide a copy of these drawings on the website.
  • After a long negotiation, the Council and Scottish Water came to an agreed position in relation to the management the SML Flood Storage Option. Rather than coming together through a formal partnership it was agreed that the new flood risk management measures would be better delivered singularly by the Council. Both organisations are therefore advancing the intention of transferring the site / infrastructure from Scottish Water to the Scheme / Council.
  • The St. Mary’s Loch Working Group was convened for its fifth meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to review the change of management approach agreed by Scottish Water and the Council. In particular, it was necessary to review the requirement to replace the existing fish pass. The Project Team are currently developing a proposal and this will be distributed to SEPA, the River Tweed Commission and other key stakeholders during February / March. One key outcome from the meeting was clarification of the fact that the Project Team will require to engage a specialist fish pass designer to satisfy the requirements of SEPA and the RTC.
  • The Project Team undertook a full review of the Scheme in advance of submitting the Application for Funding. This included a full review of the draft detail design, the draft construction plans, the project programme and all estimates of cost. These revised documents were presented to the Project Board and then Department Management Team (with the Director of Finance) for review and approval before formally including them in the Application for Funding. Furthermore, all recommendations from: the Scottish Government’s Flooding Policy Team, the KPMG audit, the Project Board, and all specialist sub-groups working on the design; were considered and included in the final revision, as appropriate.
  • On the 21st of January the Project Team formally submitted an Application for Capital Grant Funding to the Scottish Government. It is hoped the Council will be informed of the outcome of this application by the end February and that a public announcement can be made shortly afterwards. If successful the Scottish Government will provide 80% of the Total Scheme Cost. The Council have already confirmed the other 20% of the funding. This announcement would therefore leave the Scheme fully funded. As all approvals / permissions are already in place this milestone / key event will be the transition point between design and delivery (works).
  • Preparations for the Archaeologist Survey were advanced. It is currently intended to procure a contractor for this work during February 2014.