A group of north-east flood victims are “waving the white flag” after claiming their attempts to protect their village had fallen on deaf ears.
The Ballater Flood Group has been urging Aberdeenshire Council to rethink their plans to repair the bund on the river Dee after it was destroyed by flooding.
But as work on the bund commences today, the group said there was no more they could do.
The group argued that a like-for-like replacement might not protect them because of changes to the river channel since Storm Frank struck the region at end of 2015.
They have since written to the council, and to Nicola Sturgeon, calling for the plans to be revised, but argued all their efforts had been in vain.
Co-ordinator of the flood group, Tony Cox, said: “We are waving the white flag, we physically cannot do any more.
“We have repeatedly been ignored, despite providing the council will solid evidence to support our argument, but, with the work going ahead, it is too late for any more to be done.
“We are frustrated with the outcome, we have only tried to help and answer the questions the community has.
“To say we are disappointed would be a mild description of how we feel. I think all that can be done now is for us to wait and hope their plans work.”
600 homes and 100 businesses are estimated to have been flooded across Aberdeenshire in the days following Storm Frank – including 367 properties in Ballater.
The village’s flood group had proposed raising funds for a flood alleviation scheme through a public-private partnership or private finance initiative with the Scottish Government.
The first priority would be a two-foot Hesco flood barrier running from Sluivannachie, where the golf course was breached, to Ballater’s Royal Bridge.
Mr Cox added: “As a minimum requirement, Aberdeenshire Council should have looked at and evaluated our proposal, but simply ignoring it was, in my opinion, irresponsible.”
Aberdeenshire Council’s head of roads, landscape services and waste management, Philip McKay, previously said: “To do anything other than reinstate what was there before will require detailed study to understand any adverse impact on other locations along the river – a time-consuming process.
“Some of the work to repair the embankment along the golf course was done in January and we are about to proceed with the repair of a further 40-metre section.”
Work on the flood bank starts today, with the riverside section expected to be complete by October 17 and the whole project by November 7.