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Multi-million-pound strategy to safeguard Perthshire homes from flooding is delayed

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Plans for a £25 million flood defence scheme in a Perthshire village have been hit by delays, council bosses have confirmed.

Funding was approved for the long-awaited Comrie protection project two years ago, following severe flooding in 2012 that left homes under water and triggered a major rescue effort.

The community was hit by further floods three years later. Around 200 properties are believed to be still at risk.

In May, residents got the chance to see the latest proposals from consultants Sweco, and a plan was due to be published this summer.

But Perth and Kinross Council has now said the scheme is being revised after consultation with locals.

A spokeswoman said: “The public consultation closed in May, and the questions and feedback provided by the community have since informed work by our consulting engineers to revise the scheme’s outline design.

“The proposed improvements will benefit the project and the local community.”

She said: “A community consultation report will be issued in the coming weeks, along with details of the final proposals.

“The council has also been preparing to publish the flood scheme under the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act and this is currently scheduled for January 2020.”

Strathearn SNP councillor Stewart Donaldson said he had “growing concerns” about the timescale.

“This is one of the major capital projects for this council,” he said.

“The scheme was meant to be published initially at the end of last year, but the timeline on the council’s website states it has been scheduled for summer 2019 and we are now into September.

“This is a delay of at least nine months, and I have concerns this won’t be finished by the target date of 2022.”

He said: “This is, to me, an issue of growing concern. We don’t want it to continue on until 2023.”

The £24.6m scheme involves the creation of about two miles of flood walls and more than 3,000ft of embankments along the Water of Ruchill, the River Earn and River Lednock.

The project would provide protection from a one-in-200-years flood, the type that caused devastation in Alyth in 2015.

The Scottish Government pledged £19.7m, with the local authority expected to make up the remaining £4.9m.

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