Council leader moves to reassure residents over flood scheme

MORAY COUNCIL LEADER George Alexander has moved to praise the flood alleviation scheme in his Forres ward after it passed its first major test last week.

Councillor Alexander visited the Burn of Mosset in Forres to demonstrate how it had worked exactly as it had been designed – responding to media coverage and social media exchanges that he said had suggested it failed.

Councillor Alexander said people needed to understand how the flood scheme worked – underlining the praise and explanation of the schemes reported on insideMoray the day after they passed their biggest test yet.

Councillor Alexander said: “There are some people who don’t seem to appreciate that the dam upstream of Forres at Chapelton controls the flow of water so that the Mosset Burn cannot overflow further downstream.

Protection scheme in Forres worked perfectly. (Pic: Mark Maloy).

“What people were seeing last week – but perhaps not fully understanding – was a controlled release of floodwater from the dam at a rate the watercourse could cope with.

“There was never any danger of the burn reaching bursting point because the rate of discharge from the Chapelton dam was controlled so that the water would only reach a set level and no higher.”

Councillor Alexander served as chairman of the Flood Alleviation sub-committee before it was disbanded on completion of the schemes last year. He has since been central to the formation of the new Conservative/Independent council administration.

He explained how Chapelton now acts as a reservoir for increased levels of rainwater which is then released at a safe rate by a control mechanism at the dam before being allowed to make its way downstream without overflowing the banks.

He added: “I am aware that there have been concerns about the burn silting and encroaching vegetation and that will continue to be monitored, but the important message I want to get across is that the flood scheme has now been fully tested and it worked perfectly.”

Gordon Brailsford, whose popular Mosset Tavern is a stone’s throw from the burn, said he had absolute confidence in the flood scheme doing the job for which it was designed.

He and his wife Melissa took over the business 12 years ago when the threat of flooding meant they could not even get insurance for their upstairs flat.

He said: “We used to look out anxiously when the water level rose but it is a huge relief not to have to do that now.”