The owner of a north-east caravan park, devastated during the Storm Frank floods, has urged councillors to back a scheme to safeguard the site from the River Dee.
Planners have asked Aberdeenshire Council’s Kincardine and Mearns area committee to reject proposals to protect the Deeside Holiday Park in Maryculter.
The site’s owners, Wood Leisure Ltd, had applied to the local authority for permission for land raising and to construct a flood defence wall around the park perimeter.
The plans received 17 letters of support, but the Scottish Environment Protection Agency ruled the barrier might have a knock-on effect elsewhere along the Dee.
On December 30, Storm Frank battered the north-east of Scotland, causing the river to burst its banks and leave a trail of destruction.
The Deeside Holiday Park was flooded twice during the events, with its main building damaged and caravans and motor homes left in ruins or washed away.
Sepa has claimed the flood wall would result in a “loss of floodplain capacity of around 5%”, which would put neighbouring properties at “increased risk”.
However, Sarah Wood MacGregor, partner at Wood Leisure Ltd, insisted last night that Sepa’s comments were not a “definite no” and they were still hoping for the support of local councillors.
She added there had been no issues raised by Envirocentre, the environmental consultancy chaired by Professor George Fleming – one of Scotland’s leading flood experts.
And she explained: “We already have flood defences there, we are just looking at increasing them. It would be a massive benefit to the business in terms of improving the safety of customers in the park.
“That is the main reason we want to do it, to make it more safe. We are not giving up, we are going on Tuesday to represent ourselves.
“We have taken a lot of professional help from Envirocentre, they don’t believe this should be an issue. We hope we can come to some sort of agreement or compromise. We still hope we can explain why we are needing it. It is not just the business – it is the safety of customers.”
Sepa has recommended removing the defence or installing “compensatory flood storage” instead.
A council report into the plans stated: “The proposed development, if approved, would impede the ability of the flood plain to store water and flood naturally, resulting in a significant increase in the risk or severity of flooding of properties in the surrounding area.
“This would result in the loss of 5% of the River Dee’s floodplain storage capacity.”