Communities in Moray that are considered to be at risk from flooding may soon be accorded greater protection through proposals being considered by Moray Council.
The economic development and infrastructure committee agreed on Tuesday that a series of studies will be conducted and are expected to report back within six months.
These would investigate the feasibility of flood protection measures for Hopeman, Dallas, Portessie and Arradoul, while two additional communities – Portgordon and the Seatown area of Lossiemouth – will also be considered separately as they have been designated by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency as “vulnerable”.
All six communities have experienced flooding in recent months.
However, the committee heard that the council’s flood risk management team did not have sufficient resources to examine each of the areas simultaneously.
A report said: “One method of managing this workload would be for areas to be prioritised according to the extent and frequency of flooding.”
Councillors were told that each individual study would take around five months and if they were to be carried out simultaneously, help would be required from outside consultants with the associated cost implications.
Council convener Councillor Allan Wright said he favoured the combined approach of the council’s own flood risk management staff working with consultants to enable the studies to go forward together.
He said: “We owe it to the people in these communities.”
The committee was told that the studies were only the first stage in deciding whether a business case could be established for implementing flood protection measures in each of the areas.
The report stated: “In any area, there may be no practicable and/or economic solution.”