Fettercairn flood measures in place by Winter?

A FLOOD alleviation scheme for Fettercairn could be in place before the winter, going a long way towards reducing the risk of flooding in the village.

Last Tuesday, Fettercairn residents were given the chance to view the plans for flood alleviation at a presentation in the Public Hall.

Mearns councillor, Provost Bill Howatson said the presentation was made by flood prevention officer Stephen McFarland and colleagues.

“The purpose was to expose the plans to public view and take comments. Forty five people attended between 3pm and 8pm.

“The idea is to have a water storeage area at times of flood to take water from the Cauldcotts Burn.

“New banking will be created to help store the water in the Haugh Field. The water will be stored on a temporary basis, then released progressively thereafter.

“People understand that this is not a complete solution to the flooding issue, but it will certainly be a major factor in reducing the risk.

“A formal application for planning permission will now be made to Aberdeenshire Council and that application will be open for public comment.

“There is a six week consultation period and if there are no major objections, the application should go before the area committee in September. If approved, the aim is to start as soon as possible on the excavation work.

“The water will not sit in this area for any length of time. Once the flooding subsides, the field will return to its natural state.

“When the water in the burn reaches a certain height it will be taken into this bunded area.

“There was a useful discussion on Tuesday, so much so that minor modifications will be made to both the intake point and to the outlet point in order to catch and retain debris.

“There are those who say that the dredging of the burn would be the best solution, but the opinion is that this is not the best way forward.

“The council will keep a close eye on the performance of the scheme and see how efficient it is.

“The scheme could well be in place before winter as the construction is estimated to last six weeks.

“There are issues as to how much grass will grown on the bunds so late in the year, but we can always come back to that. It is important to get the earthwork done.”

The Provost says that the proposed work will be financed by Aberdeenshire Council and within budget.

“It is also planned to replace the guages on the burn with an electronic system. The guages would be near the distillery and at the arch bridge. These could be checked regularly at a central point and would be the first means of alerting the council of a flood danger.”

A similar guage is proposed for Marykirk where the Burn of Balmaleedy regularly floods.

“Residents of Fettercairn have waited some time for a scheme like this and there have been hitches along the way. We could now be on the final straight and able to do some serious work to reduce the flood risk.”

Provost Howatson says that work is almost complete further down the burn at Burnside, where there has been some dredging and some strengthening of the bank.

Bunding has been placed at the corner to stop traffic chipping away at the bank.

“Our aim is to take forward a strategy in consultation with the local people and last week’s meeting showed how productive such consultation can be.”