Coastal flooding survey backs petition

Residents at Turner Court were evacuated in october last year after the water breached the sea wall.
Residents at Turner Court were evacuated in october last year after the water breached the sea wall.

A survey has revealed that many home and business owners in Stonehaven feel the council should do more to help protect against flooding.

The survey was undertaken by a coastal flooding sub-committee of the Stonehaven Flood Action Group, to give residents and businesses affected by coastal flooding in the town a chance to have their say on what could be done to help them in the future.

Several responses criticised Aberdeenshire Council employees who, they claim, had not removed tree trunks and branches that were left during a previous storm.

One comment stated: “[I am] very concerned about the debris, mostly tree trunks, washed down Cowie River in spate onto the beach and never cleared. The path was cleared on the beachfront, and debris dumped back on beach instead of being taken away.

“This debris was carried into our garden, large tree trunks thrown like matchsticks into homes. Please keep the beach clear of large tree debris.”

Chris Anstock, who helped to organise the survey, told the Leader that the responses gave a clear indication that people want to see more action from the local authority to help reduce the risk of flooding, such as shingle management on the beach.

Mr Anstock added: “The shingle is being moved by the force of the waves.

‘‘Perhaps rock armour along the length of the beach to help keep it in place and let it do its job of absorbing the impact of the waves would be an idea that could be looked into.”

The survey also showed support for a petition launched late last year.

The petition called for a specific coastal flood warning system for Stonehaven.

Currently, the system in place is Aberdeenshire-wide, and is not always relevant to the Stonehaven area.

The petition was launched by Sir Robert Smith MP and Councillor Peter Bellarby.

They both wrote to SEPA and the Scottish Government calling for a specific coastal flood warning system for Stonehaven.

Their responses stated that consideration will be given to a new warning system this year .

If such a system is “feasible,” it would be implemented in 2016 at the earliest.

Sir Robert said:“Following the launch of the Stonehaven coastal flood warning petition, it is encouraging that SEPA and the Scottish Government will be giving consideration to a new system later this year.

“However, a new warning system will depend on ‘technical and financial’ considerations.

‘‘It is also the case that families and businesses in Stonehaven will have to wait until 2016 at the earliest if there is agreement.

‘‘Therefore, it is crucial that pressure is kept up to ensure that Stonehaven gets the specific warning it needs, as soon as possible, to help keep residents safe.”

Cllr Bellarby said:“It is vital that a proper warning system is provided for Stonehaven and the east Aberdeenshire coast.

‘‘We need to have this in place as soon as practicable so that residents can take action when needed.”