Flooded businessman tells council: ‘I want answers!’

Aberdeenshire Council have been carrying out short term flood protection measures, including the removal of "the biggest tree in Stonehaven" as part of works to widen the flow of the river at the white bridge.
Aberdeenshire Council have been carrying out short term flood protection measures, including the removal of "the biggest tree in Stonehaven" as part of works to widen the flow of the river at the white bridge.

A Stonehaven businessman is seeking answers about a blocked off culvert he believes could have contributed to the flooding of 2009 and 2012.

John Briggs, whose Bridgefield shop was badly flooded on both occasions, addressed Aberdeenshire councillors during question time at the Kincardine and Mearns area committee meeting on Tuesday.

This culvert remains open, while another one nearby was closed off.

This culvert remains open, while another one nearby was closed off.

Mr Briggs said: “After a recorded flood free history in my property since the early 1800s, like many other people I have now suffered two disastrous floods in the last four-and-a half years.

“Many informed older residents in the area tell us that the blocking of the old mill lade culvert - with its high capacity water escape to the beach - is the prime cause of these previously unknown flooding events.”

Mr Briggs added that a “now retired, well qualified and respected environmental engineer,” formerly employed by the council, had informed him and others that the mill lades and particularly the high capacity escape culvert onto the beach were “the vital keys to all local land drainage and flood relief.”

Mr Briggs was interrupted by area chair, Councillor Carl Nelson, who told him to ask his question.

Mr Briggs then asked: “Why was this culvert blocked off and why has it never been re-opened?”

Area manager Willie Munro said that they would need to prepare a detailed answer.

However, he added that work had been done to increase the capacity of the culvert.

Councillor Wendy Agnew asked that members be notified of the council’s full response to the question.