Scottish Ministers have decided that the plans for a Flood Protection Scheme in Stonehaven will not need to face a Public Inquiry.
The government said it is content with the plans and the processes taken to reach the final proposed design.
Following a decision to agree the scheme in principle, Aberdeenshire Council had to notify Ministers of its position, given objections from some residents.
Despite this, the decision was made not to call in the scheme for a Public Inquiry.
They have instead referred it back to the council to hold a Public Hearing.
An independent reporter will be appointed to hear arguments and make a recommendation, which will then be reported to the appropriate council committee.
Given the need to hold a public hearing, it is unlikely that works on the ground will start before mid to late 2017.
Major flooding events have occurred in Stonehaven within the reach of the lower River Carron over many years, most recently 1988, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2012, which have caused the evacuation of residents.
Stonehaven Community Council’s vice-chair, Phil Mills-Bishop, said: “The Community Council continues to support the proposed Flood Alleviation Scheme and the Stonehaven Flood Action Group.
“We welcome the hearing and call on Aberdeenshire Council to hold this asap and advice the objectors to have their say and then, thereafter, whether their objections are upheld or not, to get behind the scheme so that it can be completed.”