Residents of a Moray village last night accused the local authority of “gambling” on the area’s safety after councillors rejected a flood prevention scheme.
Kingston residents have vowed to keep fighting for anti-flooding measures, after Moray Council threw out plans to build a reinforced rock wall to protect the village.
Locals drafted up the plans with a benefit to cost ratio greater than one after the stormy weather and floods in August, which threatened homes along the Kingston coast.
But the proposals, which went before Moray Council’s economic development and infrastructure committee yesterday, split opinion amongst councillors, and council officers found the procedure to be too uneconomic.
Councillor Douglas Ross presented the proposal – backed by more than 120 villages – but it was rejected by eight votes to three with members instead opting to maintain a “wait and see” policy.
Last night, the Fochabers-Lhanbryde councillor said he could relate to any Kingston residents who felt like they had been “fobbed off” and “let down” by the council.
And local resident Ian Lambert, who worked on the technical side of the plan, accused the council of “gambling” on the area’s future.
The environment consultant said: “We are obviously disappointed.
“The previous agenda items were all about flooding that actually happened, so, when it come to our plan, I think the fact that no houses have been affected yet put it into perspective.
“But, the fight goes on. We recognise the threat — both from the river and the sea — and the council are gambling, frankly.
“They are just hoping a similar storm this winter won’t do the same damage as the storm in 2012.”
However, during the meeting concerns were raised about the overall benefit of the costly scheme.
Committee chairman Councillor John Cowe said: “There is a minimum cost/benefit ration established when it comes to spending public money on such schemes, and clearly the committee felt it did not meet that.
“However we will continue to monitor the situation in Kingston.”
Mr Ross added last night: “Residents in Kingston could have been well served by their council today but after the vote I can fully understand if they feel let down by it instead.”