Aberdeenshire Council has responded to questions from Stonehaven residents regarding the blocking off of the mill lade culvert.
The culvert historically helped to prevent flooding in the old town.
Local businessman, John Briggs, addressed the Kincardine and Mearns area committee last month, and asked why the culvert had been blocked off, and why it had never been re-opened?
He cited evidence that the culvert had been of vital importance to the town in the past when the River Carron was in spate, and it has since been revealed that the local authority has commissioned an investigation into the outlet.
The Leader has been shown the official response to the question from Kincardine and Mearns area manager Willie Munro, who confirmed that the current council did not know why the culvert was blocked off.
In his letter, Mr Munro comments: “The council is absolutely committed to developing, designing and constructing a flood protection scheme giving a one in 200 year protection from flooding arising in the catchment of the Carron Water, including the Glasslaw Burn.
‘‘Work on the preparation for the scheme is well under way and is being given the highest priority. As I am sure you are aware, the drainage system in Stonehaven has changed over the years as has Stonehaven itself. Its restoration, if it were possible to its original form and capacity, would still not provide the level of flood protection that is required nowadays i.e. one in 200 year protection with additional allowance for climate change.
‘‘It remains the priority to promote a scheme which does achieve this level of protection.
“Over time that alignment has changed and the beach levels have changed. The boardwalk, street lighting and two sewers now lie between the outlet and the river where the original outlet was. It is not practicable to reinstate this.
‘‘This has to take into account the need to still promote a more major scheme to provide the level of protection that is sought nowadays from a flood protection scheme.”