A Flood Protection Scheme for Stonehaven has been legally confirmed, meaning engineers can proceed to tender for the £16million of works to be carried out in the town.
The scheme became operative on Monday, September 4, which means Aberdeenshire Council now has the power to enter properties and to build on land it does not own to complete the scheme.
Pre-construction preparation is expected to take place around the town from October, with the tender for construction to be issued at the end of the year. That should take six months to complete, with construction expected to begin on the ground around August 2018, with the overall project taking around two years to complete.
A Scottish Government Reporter recommended Aberdeenshire Council’s plans to defend the town should progress following a Public Hearing in the town in March.
The hearing was an opportunity for the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) to consider objections to the scheme.
Following a consultation 12 objections had been received to the scheme – four were resolved through negotiation but the others remained outstanding.
In accordance with legislative procedures, Aberdeenshire Council took a preliminary decision in January 2016 to support the project despite the objections, which officers considered to be outweighed by the benefits to the wider community.
It is designed to provide a 0.5% chance of occurrence (1 in 200-year flood event) standard of protection, including an allowance for climate change (33% increase to 2080) and a safety margin catering for uncertainties.
It comprises a number of individual projects, including: alterations to five bridges along the River Carron; removing, replacing and raising the Red Bridge and Green Bridge; repositioning the Green Bridge; removing, refurbishing and reinstating the White Bridge in a raised position; replacing the Bridgefield Bridge parapet with a reinforced glass type material; and raising and widening the Beach Bridge; construction of flood walls between the Red Bridge and the river mouth; the island downstream of the Green Bridge will be removed; installation of two higher capacity culverts on the Glaslaw Burn.