Did historic council works contribute to flooding?

The first letter dated December 1994 is from Mr John Adams who was the Divisional Road Surveyor Kincardine and Deeside Division.
The first letter dated December 1994 is from Mr John Adams who was the Divisional Road Surveyor Kincardine and Deeside Division.

Stoney man Ian McDonald is looking for answers from Aberdeenshire Council after sending numerous letters regarding historic flooding.

Mr McDonald has been an active campaigner for action on flooding in Stonehaven having published many papers on historic flooding.

The second letter is from Malcolm Taberner, Structures and Design Manager for Aberdeenshire Council in 1998

The second letter is from Malcolm Taberner, Structures and Design Manager for Aberdeenshire Council in 1998

He received historic letters dating back to 1994 and 1998 from Grampian Regional Council and Aberdeenshire Council that show historic work undertaken may have contributed to flooding factors.

Mr McDonald passed along the letters to the Mearns Leader and also sent an e-mail to councillors, MSPs, MPs and the chief executive of Aberdeenshire Council, Jim Savage.

The first letter dated December 1994 is from John Adams who was the divisional road surveyor with Kincardine and Deeside Division.

The letter states that the green footbridge was a contributing factor to rising river levels.

It reads: “My apologies for the delay in responding to your letter of 10th November 1994 on the above. Your comments on the river levels over the past 80 years are interesting and I can only conclude that the new footbridge is a contributory factor to this. It was put in by the district council without consultation with myself or the Water Services Department and you will have seen that there is a heavy build up of silt at each abutment where large stones were dumped to protect against the river.”

The second letter is from Malcolm Taberner, structures and design manager for Aberdeenshire Council in 1998 and says the manner in which the sewer outfall and footbridge were constructed ‘appear to cause the Carron Burn to flood’.

It says: “It is indeed regretable that the footbridge and the sewer outfall were constructed in the manner in which they were since, in combination with the general north to south drift of beach shingle, they do appear to cause the Carron Burn to flood.

“Little can be done to alter either of them without incurring considerable expense. We therefore propose to construct a rock revetment to the north of the Carron Burn from its mouth down to around the low tide mark with the intention of (1) preventing the north to south drift of beach shingle from blocking the burn outlet and (2) concentrating the flow to prevent the burn from silting up. This proposal has been the subject of a study by HR Wallingford, the former Hydraulics Research Station.

“It is proposed to carry out this work in the next few months once committee approval has been obtained. Depending on how effectively the revetment works, it may be necessary to install supplementary rock groynes to the south of the Carron Burn at a later stage.

“I understand your concern and that of your neighbours. Please be assured that we will take further action should it be necessary. However, I am reasonably confident that the proposed scheme will be a significant improvement, despite the unpredictability of the weather and its effects. “

Mr McDonald’s letter to Mr Savage which contained both of the historic letters adds: “These letters I think confirm many of my opinions expressed over the years on this created river mouth water escape fiasco. Two centuries of low recorded flood heights along this stretch of river cannot be replaced by greatly increased flood heights unless someone has caused it to happen.

“The River Carron now has a flow capacity control in the shape of the restricting culvert under the bypass. In the big historic recorded floods of the last two centuries there is no reason to doubt that flood flow was at least as great or even greater than during our two recent flood events as this flow restricting control did not exist then.

“Yet there are no records of floods in the lower river ever reaching anything approaching the heights recorded at present after the river mouth’s natural flood escape capacity was deliberately obstructed.

“The possible flood heights now being used to determine the height of the proposed flood barriers upstream have all been calculated from the recorded river heights obtained since JBA started working on this problem. Mr David Basset himself told me on the day we both walked over the river’s problem areas that his original brief did not include looking into the effect of the river mouth rock barriers and this is why at the eleventh hour they were called upon to investigate the rock armour and river mouth in a secondary survey.”

Aberdeenshire Council when asked for a statement regarding Ian’s letter to Mr Savage pointed us in the direction of the Carron River Mouth Rock Armour Study Report that was published on their website at :http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/environment/StonehavenFloodProtectionScheme.asp