Rain water off course as golf club blamed for floods woe

A flooded garden close to Baberton golf course
A flooded garden close to Baberton golf course
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HOMEOWNERS living by a city golf club claim their properties have been repeatedly flooded by water being drained directly off one of the course’s greens.

Residents in Baberton Mains Wood say that a pipe from the course at Baberton Golf Club which is designed to take water away from the surface is causing it to flow into their back gardens.

The club has admitted it recently moved the pipe, but has denied responsibility, saying any recent flooding had been caused by heavy rainfall which had blocked the main drainage system.

Roger Shilling said he first reported the problem on April 10 when he saw water “cascading” into his garden, and that he has experienced problems ever since.

“I got exasperated. I went up and I could see that they were installing the drainage system.

“I fully accept that we’ve had exceptional rain. But even if it’s not raining we’re still getting water draining on to us. The residents are upset. I have been concerned that they’re taking water in this direction without any thought as to where it is going to go.”

The plastic underground pipes lead from the golf course and transport water to a bank which lies above the properties. The golf club say the water is intended to drain away through a manhole. But residents say the additional water from the pipe is adding to rainfall, saturating soil and running down to gardens.

Mr Shilling’s neighbour, Ernie Grieve, said that water came within an inch of flooding his house on Saturday following the heavy rainfall.

The 74-year-old was forced to spend £74 on hiring a pump to get rid of the water, which filled his back garden.

“It was like somebody turned a hydrant on,” he said. “It has happened previously, about ten years ago, but then it had been raining for three days. Then it was rain water, but if they are adding to that it’s exacerbating the situation. If that’s the case, it’s awful.”

Local SNP councillor Bill Henderson, left, who represents the Pentland Hills ward, accused the golf club of behaving “totally irresponsibly” and “dumping water” on to the properties. “The whole side of the street is in uproar,” he said. “This water is being piped down, on top of the normal stuff.

“I can understand them wanting to drain the golf course, but we don’t want them to just throw it down the pipe.”

The golf club manager, Keith Nicholson, said an earlier issue at Mr Shilling’s property had been “fully resolved” when the pipe was moved, but Mr Shilling maintained said a “substantial problem” remained.

Mr Nicholson said that drainage pipes had been on the bank for years, although another one was recently moved there after they changed the location of a green at the course.

“All the pipes do is take off water that is lying on the surface,” Mr Nicholson said. “On Saturday you have to understand there was an unusual amount of water. The problem is the Scottish Water drainage system couldn’t cope. I will continue to speak to the residents and have a dialogue as we always do with our neighbours.”

Mike Avery, the council’s South West Neighbourhood Manager, said: “We are aware of the flooding issue between the rear of privately owned properties on Baberton Mains Wood and have been involved in discussions with the local residents and the Baberton Golf Course. Unfortunately, this is a private matter between the residents, the golf club and Scottish Water.”