Stonehaven Flood Protection Scheme agreed in principle by councillors

Funding for the Stonehaven Flood Protection Scheme has taken a step forward after it was approved in principle by councillors.

Councillors approved funding, at a provisional estimate of £14 – 16 million, at a meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee Thursday 11 September.

Officers were asked to pursue all possible funding opportunities from the Scottish Government.

Director of Infrastructure Services Stephen Archer advised the committee that officers were also in talks with Cosla which has been given responsibility for identifying areas of priority for funding from underspend in the current flooding allocation.

Cllr Hamish Vernal gave his full support to working with the Administration to make the council’s case as strong as possible.

The committee noted how important it was to get the work done as soon as possible.

The preferred Stonehaven Flood Protection Scheme was approved in principle by the Infrastructure Services Committee in December 2013.

Councillors heard that the scheme could be confirmed early in 2015 if the current rate of progress continues and if there are no objections to the legal Flood Order.

If this were the case, construction could begin by late 2015, with a construction period of around 18 to 24 months.

Tenders have been sought for the next phase of work, to produce the detailed design, technical approvals and preparation of contract documentation. The current estimate for this phase of works is £300,000.

At Thursday’s meeting, councillors delegated authority for awarding that contract to the Head of Roads & Landscape Services, to minimise the potential for delay between the phases of work.

Stonehaven Councillor, Peter Bellarby, said “The Council has honoured the pledge it made that it would provide a full, long term, flood protection scheme in Stonehaven, hopefully with funding support from the Scottish Government.

“Those affected by the severe flooding we have experienced in Stonehaven, or who are at risk from flooding, will be glad that we are a step nearer the actual construction of the flood defences.”

“It had been hoped that funding assistance could be secured from the Scottish Government. However, it has been confirmed that funds available for flooding works in the current review period have been fully committed.

“The cost of such a major scheme in Stonehaven represents a significant part of the line in the current capital plan for harbours, coast protection and flooding. This will severely limit the potential to carry out other works of this nature. Officers were therefore asked to pursue all possible funding opportunities from the Scottish Government.