Planned changes to water flow at Rottal

PLANNING permission is being sought for restoring a section of the Rottal Burn.

It is proposed that developing the waterway will enable “full connectivity between the biological communities in the watercourse, the physical habitats and the natural processes which support them.”

Specifically the development will ensure that the species within this conservation area, such as Atlantic Salmon and Freshwater Pearl Mussels, are either fully or potentially functional.

In a report which was going before Angus development standards committee on Tuesday, just as the Dispatch and Herald were going to press, Eric Lowson, director of infrastructure services, said: “The proposal involves the restoration of the canalised water course of the Rottal Burn, as far as possible, to its natural course.

“It is intended to form a new re-aligned channel for this reach of the Rottal Burn and this would feature a meandering route across a flat flood plain immediately south-east of the existing canalised section of burn.”

This new section of the burn would be around seven to eight metres wide.

There are a number of objectives highlighted by the applicant, Dr Marshall Halliday.

These are not limited to but include: restoring the water course to its natural state as far as possible, reconnecting the Rottal Burn with its flood plain, creating a diverse habitat, reducing the unnaturally high sediment loading during high flow events, returning to a more natural flow regime and visually enhance the area.

Mr Lowson said: “The proposed burn restoration works offers a significant habitat enhancement project.

“Such a project is compatible with the wider aims of the development plan and Scottish Planning Policy in terms of improving a habitat designated at a European level.

“Subject to appropriate mitigation and additional information as a required by the proposed planning conditions, I am satisfied that the proposal is of a nature and scale appropriate to its location and is compatible with a number of policies.

“There are no material considerations which render the proposal unacceptable and as such the application is recommended for conditional approval.”

There are a number of conditions which have been placed upon the proposed development.

It must begin within three years of permission being granted.

It must be carried out in accordance with the construction method statement which was dated June 2011 by Esk Rivers and Fisheries Trust and a letter from the Enviro Centre from January 26, 2012.

The following must also be submitted for written approval by the planning authority:-

Additional information for the construction of new bunds and infiling of the existing channel, information of how any wood placed in the restored channel of the burn would be prevented from becoming mobilised in high flows, up to the one in 200 year return period, so as not to increase the risk of blockages downstream and a landscaping scheme.