THE word on the street is flooding issues in Benarty need to be tackled.

That was the message delivered to Fife Council officers and local members after a walkabout in the villages. 

It included officers from housing, property service, climate change, road maintenance and structural service teams, examining problem areas and talking to local people as they went. 

Cllr Rosemary Liewald, who represents the Lochgelly, Cardenden and Benarty ward, said: “It was an effective walkaround. We joined council teams and followed through on areas marked out [for inspection].

“It gave a real 'on the ground' picture of what exactly is going on.

"What the team is going to do now is sit down and look at the entirety of this project going forward. They need to work out what areas they’re going to be able to look at and come up with a proper project plan.” 

The trip was organised following a Benarty Community Council meeting earlier this year where there was a discussion about local flooding issues. 

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“A number of teams from the council took part to look at various issues that had been raised during this meeting,” Michael Anderson, Fife’s service manager for structural services, said.

“The walk gave us additional information for the flood study brief which we are aiming to issue in the summer and will take approximately a year to complete following the successful appointment of a design consultant.” 

The study, he said, will be to suggest possible mitigation measures to reduce the impact of flooding in Ballingry. 

“Taking any options forward to a detailed design and construction phase will be subject to available funding,” he added. 

Cllr Liewald acknowledged that the way forward will likely be long and expensive. 

“This is not going to be a one year, two year, or three year fix,” she said.  “We’re talking about a long term project the size of which they’ve probably never done before.”

“But what was effective was getting out there, getting into the streets, speaking to the residents, looking at where the actual issues are, taking photographs. That will give the team a clearer layout of what the issues are,” she added. 

“And the community were glad we actually came out. They were incredibly grateful for the teams actually coming out to listen to them.” 

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Council officers previously told Benarty Community Council that a preliminary catchment survey had been commissioned and data was being reviewed. 

A CCTV survey of culverts was also recently completed and the data is being analysed.

According to community council notes, officers also reported a full catchment survey was being commissioned. 

“The contract for the full catchment survey couldn’t be placed until the new financial year, and, due to Scotland-wide contract procedures, there would be quite a long lead-time before the work could start,” community council notes stated.

“The results of the survey are expected by the spring of 2025. It would only be after the survey report was received, that the Council would know the full extent of the work to be undertaken, the length of time it would take and the cost of the work that would be needed.” 

In the meantime, Cllr Liewald said a “vast number of drains” in Benarty have been cleared in recent weeks.

Mr Anderson added: “Gully cleaning is carried out annually and the gully cleaner is currently in Ballingry as part of that planned programme of work.”