THE Scottish Office yesterday gave the green light to a #21.3m scheme to prevent the kind of flooding which caused massive damage in Perth, in 1990 and 1993.

The Perth Flood Prevention Scheme, which will involve the construction of 10 kilometres of walls and embankments around the town, will be the biggest civil engineering project of its kind in Scotland.

The Scottish Office will contribute #18.3m to the scheme, with Perth and Kinross Council meeting the balance of the costs. It is expected to be completed in four to five years, with #2.2m being made available to allow work to begin immediately.

Mr Malcolm Chisholm MP, Local Government Minister at The Scottish Office, made the announcement at a meeting in Perth City Chambers, bringing to an end a planning process which began after the floods in 1993.

An initial proposal was rejected in November 1995, after a number of objections which have been addressed in the new scheme.

However, while the scheme was generally welcomed by councillors, reservations were raised over its funding. Mr Ewan Dow, depute leader of the council, stressed that the investment required would be to the detriment of other capital projects such as roads and schools.