Council to investigate old mill lade culvert

Aberdeenshire Council have commissioned a study to investigate the old mill lade culvert in Stonehaven, following years of pressure.

The move is a direct result of a question posed to councillors by local businessman John Briggs at a meeting of Kincardine and Mearns area committee last month.

The study will be carried out by JBA Consulting, who previously carried one out on the Carron River.

Their original study did not include the mill lade culvert, or the rock armour at the mouth of the river, although the effect of this is now also being investigated by Aberdeenshire Council.

The Leader reported a few weeks back how Mr Briggs was seeking answers, and had asked the council: “ Why was this culvert blocked off and why has it never been re-opened?”

Mr Briggs pointed out that this was not the first time the council had been asked such a question.

He said this week: “Ian McDonald has repeatedly asked the council about this culvert since December 2009, and claims he has been repeatedly brushed aside.”

Mr Briggs said that he was pleased an investigation had been ordered, but had some reservations.

He added: “I hope that JBA will come to a fair and unbiased conclusion.”

He said that residents and business owners in the affected areas of the town were “living in fear” of a repeat of the devastating floods of 2009 and 2012.

He added: ‘‘I would like to see the mill lade back to its full capacity, the island next to the green bridge lowered and the rock armour removed.

“If this was done it would give a bit of relief to those who are worried about the flooding happening again this winter.

“People are really stressed, and I don’t think the mental health of those folk is being acknowledged by the council. It is being made worse by the way we are treated when we try to complain.”

Ian McDonald has been an active campaigner for action on flooding in Stonehaven.

He said: “ The council were alerted to all the facts about this vital historic drainage culvert only days after the first flood [in2009].

‘‘They have been repeatedly made aware by me of this vital flood escape regularly over the past four-and-a-half years since the first event. I even produced a you tube video explaining this important issue.

“Had full remedial action been taken after the first flood, I believe that the severity of the second one would have been very much reduced or may even have even been prevented.”

Mr Briggs is expected to be given a full answer to his question at the next Kincardine and Mearns area committee meeting next Tuesday, July 1, at Viewmount.

An Aberdeenshire Council spokeperson said: “The council is absolutely committed to developing, designing and constructing a flood protection scheme giving a one in 200 year protection from flooding arising in the catchment of the Carron Water, including the Glasslaw Burn.

“Work on the preparation for the scheme is well under way and is the highest priority.

‘‘The council has commissioned a study into the capacity of the lade network due to continued requests for investigation. Once received this can be further considered but it will not obviate the need to continue to progress as atop priority the flood protection scheme for Stonehaven.”