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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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).
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.