Holiday park set for flood defences

Deeside Holiday Park was swamped by floodwater
Deeside Holiday Park was swamped by floodwater

The owners of an Aberdeenshire caravan park have won the support of councillors for flood defences.

Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee went against a planning recommendation and voted in favour of the protection scheme for Deeside Holiday Park at Maryculter.

The park in South Deeside Road reopened last month after being hit by £3million pounds of damage during the Storm Frank flooding.

The nearby River Dee overflowed submerging the site in around 20 feet of water, damaging the main building and caravans and motor homes, with some being washed away.

Owners Wood Leisure applied for planning permission for land raising and to build a flood defence wall around the perimeter.

The move attracted 17 letters of support and an objection from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) due to the impact of the proposal on nearby properties.

Sepa officials claimed around a dozen residential properties in and around the flood plain would be put at increased risk.

Recommending refusal in a report, plannners told the area committee on Tuesday: “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, and would result in the loss of 5% of the River Dee’s floodplain storage capacity.”

A Wood Leisure representative told councillors: “We feel that raising the flood defences is absolutely crucial to the safety of our guests.”

She said the defences were about creating more time to evacuate the park in the event of a flood, adding: “One can only imagine how long it would take to evacuate the park when it is full.”

Jim Mackay, Sepa north planning manager, told the meeting: “We fully understand the concerns and have every sympathy to the business, we have no choice but to recommend for refusal.

“To address one problem which will impact another is not the way to deal with the situation.

The committee voted the proposal through on a delegated grant.