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Where a water body is located within or borders a proposed development, both Aberdeen City and Aberdeen Councils require that a buffer strip must be provided on either side of the water body.

  • Buffer strips must beprotected during the construction period and thereafter.
  • Buffer strips must be in proportion to the scale of the watercourse. Clarification on the actual width of a buffer strip should be sought from the council, but it is likely to be at least 6m on either side of the water body.
  • Areas at risk of disturbance by river processes will require a geomorphological assessment in order to assess the appropriate buffer strip.
  • Buffer strip requirements are a separate matter from floodplain requirements. Scottish Planning Policy states that development must not take place within the functional floodplain and the need to protect the whole of these areas will override the buffer width guidelines suggested below.

Best practice advice can be found in:

Buffer Strips adjacent to Water Courses and Water Bodies (Aberdeenshire Council)

Riparian Management (Aberdeenshire Council)

Riparian Vegetation Management (SEPA)