A SCOTTISH council has approved the long-anticipated property flood resilience grant for homeowners and businesses.

Fife Council will award up to £5000 per applicant to help reduce the internal damage to properties as a result of flooding – which a committee report said will have “significant financial and mental benefit” to homeowners and reduce “down time” following flood events. 

In February, councillors agreed to allocate £500,000 to help protect properties in Fife from the effects of flooding as part of the 2024/25 budget

Now, the full details have come to light and been approved. 

In the last four years, Fife has experienced “a number of extreme weather events". According to committee reports, there have been approximately 1300 reports of flooding to properties, businesses and roads across the local authority in that time. 

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The council is already working to protect the properties in its housing stock, but now they are offering assistance for homes and businesses in the private sector. 

“I’m really pleased this has finally come to committee and we’re actually getting this over the line,” said Jan Wincott, Fife’s Labour spokesperson for environment and climate change

She emphasised that this is meant to be an assistance programme, not a fully funded scheme. 

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“The actual amount was debated quite a lot as to whether or not £5000 was enough, but this is meant to assist householders,” Wincott said. “I don’t think we can ever have the aspiration that we can fully flood proof everybody’s homes with this, but it is an assistance.”

Councillor David Barratt, SNP for Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay, was likewise supportive, but also pushed for wider assessment and reform. 

“I welcome this, but I think it treats the symptom and not the cause. It needs to come in tandem with a more strategic approach in terms of wider flood risk and assessing it,” he said. 

“If we’ve got 100 houses that are all at risk of flooding but it’s due to a single undersized culvert, it makes sense to fix the culvert rather than the property level protection. However, that needs a strategic council assessment.

"So I support this scheme, but I remain concerned that the council is under-resourced and understaffed in that regard.” 

How do you apply to Fife's £5000 property flood resilience grant?

The property flood resilience grant will allocate up to £5000 per property, reaching a minimum of 100 properties across Fife. 

Proposals will be centred on “small scale physical modifications to properties” to reduce ingress of flood water. 

“The grant will not be issued to properties claiming for existing Property Flood Resilience Measures,” a committee report explained. 

“Should the assessment indicate costs in excess of the £5000 grant award, the property owner will be required to fund any further cost.” 

The process itself begins by contacting Fife Council via phone, email, web or letter. From there, homeowners can submit an application – including supporting information such as property flood history, risk of flooding, a Scottish Flood Forum property assessment report, and a work cost quotation. 

Fife Council will assess the application and notify applicants of the level of funding they’ve been awarded within approximately four weeks.

Finally, funds will be dispersed, and the council will set a date to inspect the completed work to ensure compliance. 

The scheme will open for applications on Wednesday, April 24. More information on eligibility and how to apply for the Property Flooding Resilience grant will be made available on that date.