Council streamlines flood repair advice

People affected by the flooding are being offred advice to speed up repair work.
People affected by the flooding are being offred advice to speed up repair work.
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Aberdeenshire Council is offering advice and a simpler process to people needing to make repairs following the severe flooding.

Up to 600 homes around 100 businesses were affected during a period of severe weather in December and January with record rainfall and river levels across the region.

The streamlining of forms and processes by the council’s planning service is welcome news

Cllr David Aitchison Infrastructure Services Committee

Councillor David Aitchison, chair of the council’s infrastructure services committee, said: “It will take time, effort and resources to rebuild and repair all areas affected and the streamlining of forms and processes by the council’s planning service is welcome news.

“I encourage property and business owners to consult the planning service for any advice and be assured that in line with the recently-announced Flood Recovery Plan the authority is doing all it can to support communities.”

Vice-chair Councillor Stephen Smith added: “The impact, devastation and distress that flooding has caused to people is acute and that is why time is of the essence in helping people replace and repair infrastructure from properties to fishing huts, structures and access tracks.

“Aberdeenshire Council has agreed a multi-agency approach to assist in this process with guidance and the best advice available to enable people to carry out works as quickly as possible without worrying about too much paperwork.”

The authority’s flood recovery plan is to support communities in regaining a sense of normality following the damage.

As part of this, the planning service has established a simpler process for people undertaking post-flood work.

Immediate work without formal consent can take place, or where there is doubt, a single form can be used to speed up the assessment process.

More details can be obtained from http://bit.ly/planninginfo

Meanwhile, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has announced that farmers affected by the recent floods will be able to apply for a grant to help repair floodbanks.

The Agricultural Floodbank Repair Grant Scheme was announced by the First Minister earlier this year, with £1 million being set aside to fund the repair of man-made floodbanks on farms in nine local authorities, including Aberdeenshire.

Farmers who require support to restore man-made floodbanks on their farms can now apply for the grant scheme.

NFUS president Allan Bowie, who welcomed the move, said: “ I urge those with damaged floodbanks to apply before the deadline closes at the end of February with applications to be approved shortly after.”