Regeneration Group expresses flooding concerns for Upper Achintore housing development

The proposed development of Upper Achintore is extensive, taking in 325 homes across a significant part of the community.

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Residents in the Upper Achintore area of Fort William have reiterated concerns about the 325-home development proposed to be built on deep peat land.

While the Upper Achintore Regeneration Group does not object to the development, understanding the need for housing, it wants absolute assurance that flooding will not be an issue.

Janet and Kevin Hickman brought their concerns to the meeting.

In a joint statement, they said: ‘There have been meetings with Lochaber Housing Association, Link Housing and the builder. However, they did nothing to address our legitimate concerns.

‘We have been told that the proposed SUDS [sustainable drainage system] basins would act as a reservoir for excess water in winter and dry out in the summer. With our extreme weather, which is set to get worse with climate change, we very much doubt that the SUDS could adequately have the same effect as nature’s own water regulator – the peat bog.

‘Concerns have also been brought up about the actual sewage drainage, the developers and builders saying that an extra 300-plus houses would not add anything extra to the flow in the existing sewers.’

The group is writing a letter to the council, highlighting concerns about possible flooding with the real danger of a one in 200-year event becoming more common.

A Highland Council spokesperson said: ‘Through the determination of the planning applications, the applicant agreed to a condition to provide a scheme of mitigation in relation to surface water flooding and investigation of wider issues related to drainage.’

Link Housing, the applicant for the 325-home development, was unavailable for comment.