Aberdeenshire caravan park set to reopen after flooding

AN Aberdeenshire caravan park which was devastated by flooding in December is finally set to reopen.

The site was hit by severe flooding in Decemeber.
The site was hit by severe flooding in Decemeber.

Pictures emerged of caravans floating down the nearby river while wreckage of roofs and windows were strewn all over the site when Storm Frank hit the area.

But Ballater Caravan Park in Aberdeenshire is set to reopen next month following a massive clean-up at the site.

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Much of Aberdeenshire was affected by flooding and Ballater was one of the worst-hit areas.

The site was hit by severe flooding in Decemeber.

Tourists were forced to evacuate the caravan park when the nearby river Dee burst its banks.

There were 102 static caravans at the site but 40 ended up missing as a result of the flooding.

Many of the remaining caravans were ruined beyond repair and had to be demolished.

However, after a clear-up with an estimated cost of £100,000, the caravan park will open on May 13 or 14.

The site was hit by severe flooding in Decemeber.

Ian Wisely, one of the park’s directors, said: “We have upgraded all our stances to comply with the current legislation at the caravan sites. It is absolutely back up to date.

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“We are hoping if the weather permits, we can actually open the touring site I think on May 13 or 14.

“It is going to look pretty special because it is substantially renovated. I think it is going to look great.

“It does bring in a lot of visitors who come and stay for a short time and for longer periods. I think the village is trying hard - it is beginning to look better.”

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Ian said that more had to be done to protect the static caravans at the site in future.

He added: “We are really like everyone else in Ballater - waiting on positive news about flood defences.”

Businesses in Ballater were also badly affected by the flooding with many forced to close as a result.

Deeside Books, a shop in the village, was forced to put hundreds of water-damaged books in bin bags outside on the street.

The local golf course also suffered significant damage.

However, many businesses have since reopened and it is hoped that the caravan park will help bring tourists back to the area.

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Alistair Cassie, a local business owner, said: “Ballater needs tourists and caravaning is getting popular. I don’t think the flood worry affects caravanners that much.

“Caravan sites are generally on flood plains so it is just one of those things. The statics are a bit different.

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“That was a freak flood. It might be another 70 to 80 years before we see one like that again - it could be tomorrow.

“You can’t look at life like that. You can’t go through life thinking ‘this is it’. You have got to be positive and think to the future.

“There are people wanting to come and support Ballater and the caravan site. We are all thinking positively.”