Aberdeenshire Council refute hydrology criticism

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Aberdeenshire Council have dismissed calls made by a community councillor for an independent hydrology report.

Phil Mills-Bishop made the call at Stonehaven and District’s community council meeting last week, where he described his “increasing concern” regarding the council’s expertise on flooding.

He said: “The SDCC Planning Sub-Group, in conjunction with representatives from neighbouring community councils and the Stonehaven Flood Action Group, are becoming increasingly concerned that Aberdeenshire Council as the “flood authority” (SEPA only advise) do not have within their Internal Flood Unit the time, money, staff, and expertise in ‘hydrology’ to check the surface run-rate calculations relating to a developer’s application.

‘‘Moreover, there appears to be no over-arching view/consideration on a number of planning applications being approved that could collectively increase the flood risk. If there is a ‘perfect storm’ then significant volumes of water would rapidly hit the Carron which would flood, with greater consequences to life and property that are well known. The request is for an independent hydrology report commissioned by Aberdeenshire Council in-conjunction with the groups concerned and a far tougher regime of maintenance, inspection and enforcement.”

However, the council have dismissed calls for an independent report.

A spokesperson said: “Aberdeenshire Council is not required to work on behalf of developers and do their drainage design for them.

‘‘ If an independent hydrology report is sought, then this is not a matter for the council. Adoption and maintenance issues with Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) is a nationwide problem.

“Aberdeenshire Council’s Flooding and Coast Protection unit consists of a team of skilled and valued engineers led by a chartered civil engineer.

‘‘By the nature of their training, civil engineers have an understanding of hydrology.

‘‘Providing comment on planning applications (as a non-statutory consultee) is only part of the role of the team; the team are also responsible for preparation and implementation of flood protection and coast protection engineering projects.

‘‘Aberdeenshire Council do not check drainage calculations, but do ensure that these are in accordance with current policy and have been carried out by an appropriately qualified person.”