Options for flood protection in Stonehaven

A computer generated image looking down Cameron Street to wards the White Bridge. The White Bridge would be raised higher, as would the wall running alongside the River Carron.
A computer generated image looking down Cameron Street to wards the White Bridge. The White Bridge would be raised higher, as would the wall running alongside the River Carron.

A public consultation, looking into options for flood protection in Stonehaven, was held in the local Leisure Centre last week.

Hundreds of people passed through the doors during the four- day exhibition, where they could look at detailed plans for what Aberdeenshire Council plan to do to alleviate the threat of river flooding in the town.

The view looking down Cameron Street as it is now.

The view looking down Cameron Street as it is now.

In the last year there has been extensive work to progress the scheme to this stage, including extensive hydrological modelling, topographic, structural, environmental and ground investigation surveys.

The overall aim of the proposed scheme is to protect Stonehaven from flooding, while preserving its unique characteristics.

Any scheme needs to balance the requirements of the environment, local economy and local community to provide a secure future for the local area.

Sensitivities around the scheme include trees, listed buildings, the town’s Conservation Area, tree preservation orders, river corridor and wildlife.

The consultation was held at Stonehaven Leisure Centre from October 30 to November 2 and gave people the opportunity to view detailed plans for flood alleviation in the town.

The consultation was held at Stonehaven Leisure Centre from October 30 to November 2 and gave people the opportunity to view detailed plans for flood alleviation in the town.

WHAT THE COUNCIL SAY:

Rachel Kennedy, principal engineer (Flood Protection - Major Works), said: “We feel the work we’ve done so far on this significant project has helped us come up with some innovative solutions to the problems.

“The engineering solutions are harnessing technology while addressing the local environment and respecting the built heritage.

“We really do want to hear what people think about these proposals, to enable us to progress with confidence towards an effective solution for the town and start work on the ground.”

Head of roads and landscape services, Philip McKay, said: “A substantial amount of effort has been going into the development of this scheme and locals may have seen some of the survey work taking place around the town.

“Given the difficult objective of alleviating the impact of what can be very powerful natural forces, we feel the proposed scheme will have the greatest effect using the resources we have.

“That doesn’t mean we won’t take people’s views into account though, and anyone who has an interest should come along, meet us and see the plans for themselves.”

Kincardine and Mearns area manager, Willie Munro, said: “A lot of work has been completed to get to this stage with a scheme that will provide protection for residents and businesses Stonehaven that have been affected by flooding.

“It is now important that the whole community sees what is being considered so that people can make comment before the scheme moves on to the next stages of the statutory process leading towards its construction.”

Following the consultation event, comments and views will be gathered and taken into consideration in the detailed design of the preferred scheme.

WHAT YOU SAY:

The biggest fear among residents is that the proposed works will not start until at least 2016.

Last week, the Leader spoke to twice-flooded shop-owner John Briggs, who said that, while he supported the council’s long-term plans, more had to be done in the short term to help protect homes and businesses who are at risk.

STONEHAVEN

FLOOD TIMELINE:

August 1829 - Houses on Cameron Street, Arbuthnott Street, Ann Street and part of Barclay Street inundated to the depth of ‘many feet’ (Aberdeen Journal)

November 1873 - houses flooded to considerable depth (The Scotsman)

December 1882 - Many houses in Stonehaven flooded to a depth of 2-3 feet (The Scotsman)

October 1906 - Houses at top of High Street and Arbuthnott Place flooded (Mearns Leader)

October 1907 - Barclay Street and Market Square flooded (The Scotsman)

April 1934 - Flooding to Barclay Street and Cameron Street (Mearns Leader)

June 1938 - Rivers Cowie and Carron in spate but no flooding to property (The Scotsman)

November 1946 and March 1947 - River Carron out of bank but flooding of properties averted (The Scotsman)

September 1956 - River Carron out of bank, with Cameron Street residents erecting flood barriers at their doors (Mearns Leader)

October 1979 - Severe flooding from River Carron causes damage to properties in town centre (Press and Journal)

April 1988 - River Carron causes flooding to gardens along Cameron Street

December 1995 - Widespread flooding following sudden thaw combined with overnight rain (Press and Journal)

November 2009 - River Carron bursts its banks, flooding businesses and houses and causing 50 people to be evacuated (Mearns Leader)

December 2012 - Businesses and houses flooded as the Carron and Burn of Glasslaw burst their banks. Flooding exacerbated by surface water runoff the Bervie Braes