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River Ness flood alleviation, UK

A £22 million flood defence scheme by Scotland's Highland Council is designed to protect Inverness from stormwater and tidal flooding along the banks of the River Ness. This included a £3.3 million project to enhance 3km of riverside streetscape along the River Ness.

View of riverside in Inverness
River Ness flood alleviation, UK
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River Ness flood alleviation, UK We are providing detailed design for The Highland Council on the £22 million scheme, following on from our earlier role as one of three flood defence framework providers to the Highland and Islands Councils in Scotland.

Mott MacDonald has championed this scheme development for the past 20 years, which, together with our vast expertise and experience in flood risk analysis, was instrumental in our successful appointment.

This major flood defence scheme is designed to protect 795 residential and 188 non-residential properties from the threat of tidal flooding through the installation of 4km of walls and embankments along both sides of the river bank.

The upper part of the scheme passes through the central business district of Inverness and with tourism being a major source of income for the city, the aesthetics of the scheme are particularly significant.

Mott MacDonald was detailed designer for The Highland Council on the project, following on from our earlier role as one of three flood defence framework providers to the Highland and Islands Councils in Scotland.

In addition to providing a wide range of engineering services, including civil, structural, highways and geotechnical design, we were the river defence and landscape architecture lead consultant, assisting the Highland Council with simultaneous streetscaping work for the roads bordering the scheme to improve the whole river corridor.

The design included the realignment of major utilities on both sides of the river. Planning restrictions required a number of mature trees to be retained and additional trees to be planted.

Landscape enhancements

The creation of a new flood wall river defence scheme called for a complementary landscape scheme to mitigate the effect of the increased height of the wall.

Working alongside the client, our engineers and key local stakeholders, our landscape designers created concept options for hard and soft landscaping on both sides of the river to enhance the street scene and provide a more legible network of footpaths, cycleways and resting points.

Our proposals, from early concepts to detailed plans, were presented at a series of public consultations and addressed local stakeholder concerns such as the impact of streetscaping and tree planting restricting views from their premises.

The combination of our engineering and landscape teams ensured a coordinated and time effective approach to both the streetscape design and the integration of the flood defence wall.

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