PROTESTORS have organised two public meetings to discuss the controversial Musselburgh Flood Protection Scheme.

They have been organised by the Musselburgh Flood Protection Action Group, which has launched a local campaign calling on East Lothian Council to “pause and review” the controversial multi-million-pound scheme.

Both meetings take place next Saturday (November 25) – one in the Hollies Community Hub at 183 High Street from 10am to noon, and the other at the Wiremills Social Club, 4 Balcarres Road, 1-3pm.

Resident Roger Crofts said: “All Musselburgh folk and others interested in the future of our town are invited to attend, listen to what people have said and contrast this with East Lothian Council’s and its consultants’ position, give their views and determine the next steps in our campaign for a better and modern solution to reduce flood risk to Musselburgh, protect the amenity of our town and give access to the river and the seashore for its people and our many visitors.

“At each meeting there will be plenty of time to discuss in open sessions and in small groups. Please come along as this affects all of us who live in the town.”

A second protest petition was launched after the local authority rejected an earlier one, and a website, called Pause The Flood Scheme, has been created by opponents of the plan.

READ MOREOpposition to flood protection plan gathers momentum

A GoFundMe page was also set up to support the campaigners to produce flyers and posters.

The flood protection plan, costing £43.5 million – 20 per cent East Lothian Council and 80 per cent Scottish Government Flood Programme – aims to introduce defences against a one-in-200-year risk of flooding in the town.

The scheme aims to provide formal flood protection to about 3,000 properties in the town at risk from a major flood event.

Four replacement bridges – Goosegreen, Shorthope, Electric and Ivanhoe – and various types of flood defences are among measures planned to protect Musselburgh from flooding, including new physical defences along the River Esk corridor and coastal foreshore.

Another two projects have been brought together with the flood protection plan – future-proofing the ash lagoons seawall at a cost of £52.4 million, with talks ongoing between the council and ScottishPower; and parts of the Musselburgh Active Toun project to provide enhanced footpaths, pathways and cycleways with £122,000 from Sustrans. This takes the total investment to £96 million.

The first design – shown to the public during the exhibition in June – presented a mix of different solutions. The presented approach along the seawall was to use rock armour. Along the rest of the length there were 15 other different styles of physical defences proposed and these included the use of concrete walls, masonry dressed walls, earthen embankments, enhancement of dune systems, repair of existing boundary walls, repair of the existing Fisherrow Harbour walls, and new structures that were hybrid combinations of some these various techniques. These new physical defences will also include flood gates and glass panels.

READ MOREThe 12 techniques planned for preventing flooding in Musselburgh

Opponents are rejecting the design, saying they want “co-production of options that reduce the flood risk and preserve the character of the town focussing on nature-based solutions on the Esk river catchment and along the coast”.

A council spokesperson said: “Community engagement and feedback continues to be an integral part of the Musselburgh Flood Protection Scheme.

“The first vision of the outline design was presented at the public exhibition in June. The design is currently moving forward, developing through public feedback. The project team continues to hold regular drop-in sessions which are opportunities for people to come along, ask questions, explore the design and let us know their thoughts. Further details of these are on the scheme website. The project team’s invitation to meet with the action group remains open.”