Aberdeen loses out on flood protection funding

Aberdeenshire towns devastated by Storm Frank (such as Ballater) are set to benefit from flood prevention measures - unlike Aberdeen City. Image: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Aberdeenshire towns devastated by Storm Frank (such as Ballater) are set to benefit from flood prevention measures - unlike Aberdeen City. Image: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
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Homes and businesses in the city have been ignored by a £235m government-funded flood prevention scheme.

As the city recovers from floods caused by Storm Frank, it has been announced that Aberdeen will miss out on government funding towards protection schemes for homes and businesses.

It’s shocking - Aberdeen is this government’s forgotten city

Willie Young, Finance Convenor of Aberdeen City Council

Scores of houses were affected after both the River Dee and Don burst their banks, with the storm wreaking havoc across Scotland three weeks ago.

The Scottish Government launched a £235m national flood risk management plan to invest in flood protection measures for vulnerable communities last week.

But the plans to build 42 flood protection schemes and a range of other flood alleviation measures over the next five years do not include any schemes for Aberdeen - despite the city being badly affected by December’s storm.

Families were evacuated from their homes in Holburn Street near the River Dee and businesses were also savaged by floods.

River water gushed into B&Q and Sainsbury’s supermarket in Garthdee and also swept away cars from the nearby David Lloyds gym and Saks hairstylist, with both left severely damaged.

Earlier this month, homes and sheltered housing residents along the River Don in the north of the city in Grandholm were also evacuated a few days later when the river rose to dangerous levels.

Under the new plan, communities badly affected by flooding across Scotland will be given either Holyrood or Sepa funding. The Scottish Government said projects considered were put forward by local authorities themselves.

READ MORE: Scotland’s weather: Communities assess flood damage

However, senior city councillors claimed that schemes for the River Dee had been put forward to government planners for consideration but had not been given the go-ahead.

Finance convenor Willie Young said: “We applied to Scottish Water for funding for a multi-million pound scheme at Peterculter to help alleviate flooding.

“You can imagine our disappointment to see so many other areas getting government funds while we are left without.

“It’s shocking - Aberdeen is this government’s forgotten city.”

The management plan notes that the flood risk to the city is complex due to the interation between the main rivers, small watercourses, sewage system and tide levels.

The report adds that a number of schools, healthcare facilities and an emergency services site are at risk along with major roads and the Aberdeen to Inverness railway line.

Flood protection schemes will instead be built in Aberdeenshire, Moray, Orkney and the Highlands.

The River Dee has flooded 19 times over the past 200 years, affecting properties, agriculture, roads and railway lines in the city.

Aberdeen International Airport and large parts of the city were also flooded in July 2015 after heavy rain caused drains to overflow and pulled up manhole covers. Roads were closed and a nursery had to be evacuated.

Surface water also caused problems in communities west of the city in October 2001.