Greens set out next steps for Musselburgh Flood Defence Scheme

The East Lothian Greens have set out the steps it believes the Council must take to avoid catastrophic mistakes with the Musselburgh Flood Protection Scheme.

All Green Councillors elected in May will call for:

  1. Publication of the modelling used by the consultants so it can be understood by the community and critiqued by experts.
  2. Full analysis of the impact of any wall on the rest of the coast line (i.e. impact on Prestonpans and Portobello).
  3. Integration of all nature-based solutions upstream currently not included in modelling.
  4. Cooperation with other council areas across Esk eco-system to implement nature based solutions
  5. Meaningful public consultation to then agree on the flood defences needed in the town.
  6. Transparency on contracts awarded to deliver the final agreed programme.

Shona McIntosh, Green Musselburgh candidate for 2022, said:

There are extensive natural measures that could be taken throughout the Esk catchment to reduce flood risk, all at lower cost to the taxpayer. Better drainage, creating ponds and wetlands, and planting native trees would all bring multiple benefits and could make East Lothian a trailblazer for the modern way to deal with flood risk.

The plans for the Musselburgh Flood Protection Scheme are not finalised but the 'Preferred Scheme' which was approved in 2020 includes bridge replacement, river barriers, sea walls and pumping stations.

The cost has been estimated at £42 million - £9 million of which has to be found from the Council's capital budget.

At a time when the Council has just had to spend £7 million of its reserves purely to fund services, Greens believe residents all over East Lothian may ask themselves whether the Musselburgh Scheme is value for money.

To date, only the Scottish Greens have pledged to pause the Flood Wall.