Progress on repairing Newtonhill storm damage

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Plans are in hand to repair storm-damaged paths and bridges in the Newtonhill area.

Local councillor Ian Mollison said: “Over the winter there was significant damage caused by heavy rains. A number of homes were also badly damaged and their owners – and insurance companies – are dealing with the consequences, with advice available from Aberdeenshire Council.

“Meanwhile council officials have been assessing the damage caused to the Core Paths network. Only recently the council received Scottish Government approval for its Core Paths plan. There is now more of an onus on the council to maintain the paths and ensure they are walkable. Importantly the track from Muchalls to Newtonhill is a Core Path.

“Council officials have carried out an initial assessment of the remedial works.

“I am told the total cost of these works and other substantial repair works required at both Stonehaven and further south on the Coastal Path and other Core Paths far exceeds the council’s annual path maintenance budget for next year.

“In the Newtonhill area, officials propose to look at progressing with repairs to the path to Newtonhill Beach and the approach to the footbridge over the Elsick Burn at the beach (at a total cost of around £6000) as a priority in May/June. Similarly the path from the railway bridge at Muchalls to the cliffs and beach should hopefully be done at the same time (at a cost of around £3000) if a contractor can undertake the work within this overall timeframe.

“Progression of the restoration work around Elsick Mill will largely be dependant on the owner but the council will make a contribution of around £4000 in order that works are not delayed.

“Further south towards Muchalls the replacement of the footbridge over the Pheppie Burn will cost around £35,000. Officials say that while this is of a high overall priority, the cost currently exceeds the available budget.

“It will be dependent on funding being forthcoming either through Bellwin funding from the Scottish Government, a capital bid or some other alternative source.

“I have seen the extent of the damage around the area. It will take some time to put it right.”