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Scheme Publication Process

Falkirk Council (the Council) gave notice of the proposed Grangemouth Flood Protection Scheme (the Scheme) to residents and businesses of Grangemouth and the surrounding communities on 9 May 2024. The statutory process, detailed in the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 (the Act) requires the publication of a number of documents which will be made available for inspection at the Council’s office at the Falkirk Stadium and also available to view online. 

 

Notification of the start of the statutory process is given by way of a notice to certain parties, including those with an interest in any land and property needed for the proposed flood defences and associated works (the Scheme Operations), and or those whose interest in land may be affected by any of the Scheme Operations or by an alteration in the flow of water caused by any of the Scheme operations. The notice will also appear in newspapers and as public notices.

The documents to be published must include:

 

Objections to the Scheme

Anyone has the right to object or make representations to the proposals contained within the scheme documents. Full details of how and where to make an objection is given in the Scheme notice (the Notice). To be valid, objections must be made within the period identified on the Notice and must be made in writing (email is acceptable) and include the objector’s name and address, as well as a statement of the reasons for the objection. Where the objector has an interest in land affected by the Scheme Operations, they should also provide details of the land in which they have an interest, disclose the nature of their interest in land affected by operations to be carried out under the Scheme and details of which aspect of the Scheme Operations affect them.

Post Publication Process

If no valid objections, are received the Council must decide to either confirm or reject the Scheme. The Council may decide to hold a hearing before making its decision. If the Council decide to make modifications to the Scheme, the publication process will be followed again in relation to the modified Scheme.

 

If valid objections are received, the Council will contact all persons who have submitted a valid objection to see if further information, discussion, or compromise can be reached leading to the withdrawal of all or part of their objection.

 

If any valid objections  are not withdrawn or resolved, the Council will consider those objections and make a preliminary decision on whether the Scheme will either be confirmed, confirmed with modifications, or rejected.

 

The Council will give notice of their decision to any objector. If any remaining valid objection was raised by:

  • someone with an interest in any land or property needed for the Scheme Operations;

  • someone whose interest in land may be affected by any of the Scheme Operations or by any alteration in the flow of water caused by any of the Scheme operations;

  • SEPA, NatureScot, any authority responsible for flood risk related functions; or

  • any statutory undertaker,

 

the Council will also give notice of their decision to Scottish Ministers.

 

 

Scottish Ministers’ Options

 

Public Local Inquiry

Scottish Ministers will advise whether or not they will consider the Scheme. If Ministers decide to consider the Scheme, there will be a Public Local Inquiry (PLI), which can be a lengthy procedure, with no specific completion date. An independent reporter will be appointed, and the Council and any objectors will be given time to prepare their statements ahead of any submission and/or attendance at the PLI. After the PLI, the reporter produces a report for the Scottish Ministers to aid in their decision-making. The Scottish Ministers will then either confirm the Scheme, confirm the Scheme with modifications, or reject the Scheme. The Scottish Ministers will then notify the Council of their decision and provide any relevant objectors of their decision and reasons for making such decision.

 

Public Hearing

If Scottish Ministers decide not to consider the Scheme, the Scheme will be returned to the Council, who will hold a Hearing. An independent reporter will be appointed to hear the arguments and make a recommendation, which will subsequently be reported to a Council committee to aid in their decision-making. The Council will then either confirm the Scheme, confirm the Scheme with modifications, or reject the Scheme.

 

Final Decision

If the Scheme is confirmed, either by the Council or Scottish Ministers, then a notice will be given to those who were notified at publication stage, and any persons who subsequently made representation. Notification must also be given in local newspapers and the Edinburgh Gazette.

 

If the Scheme is confirmed but with modifications, either by Scottish Ministers or the Council, the publication process detailed above will be followed again in relation to the modified Scheme.

 

 

Appeals and Commencement of Scheme

 

Following notification of the final decision, there are six weeks for any appeals to be lodged. In absence of a valid appeal, the Scheme will become operative six weeks after giving notice of the Final decision.

Land Entry and Acquisition

 

The Council may require to enter third party land to carry out Scheme Operations. The Council would look to do so by using their statutory powers, available on confirmation of the Scheme, but may acquire land by agreement or by compulsory purchase if necessary. The Council will not require to acquire land in all situations. Persons authorised by the Council to enter land required for flood protection works are entitled to do so for a number of reasons, including;

  • Carrying out both temporary and permanent Scheme operations and flood protection works.

  • Maintaining flood protection works and Scheme operations.

 

Under the terms of the Act, it is an offence to prevent or obstruct any authorised person from carrying out work in relation to the Scheme.

 

Legislation and All Potential Variations

The above summary is not intended for use as a legal guide to the process and clarification on any aspect should be sought by reference to the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 and associated regulations.

Further Information

If you require any further information contact the GFPS project team at the Council:

Email: grangemouthfps@falkirk.gov.uk

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