Flood-defence works for Stonehaven finally receive legal go-ahead

A town’s planned flood prevention measures have been granted legal confirmation, meaning tenders for £16 million of work can go ahead.

The Stonehaven Flood Protection Scheme became operational on September 4, which gives the council power to order work on land it does not own.

The scheme – which came about after flooding hit the coastal town in 2009 and 2012 – will provide a level of flood prevention that exceeds Association of British Insurers requirements.

Its aim will be to reduce the flood risk to 372 residential properties, two public utility sites, a school and an emergency service site.

A formal notice was published after which any objectors had six weeks to apply for a judicial review.

Cllr Peter Argyle who chairs Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee, said: “This is an a important milestone, and I am quite delighted.

“I am sure everyone in Stonehaven would be pleased that this stage has been passed.”

A public hearing was held in March when the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals was able to consider the scheme.

In total, there were 12 objections of which four were resolved, but the others remained outstanding.

In accordance with procedure – and a preliminary hearing in January 2016 – a decision was made to support the project despite the objections due to the benefits outweighing the objections.

The scheme has an estimated value of £14m to £16m.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We welcome the council’s progress on flood risk management.

“The Scottish Government is committed to reducing flood risk across Scotland and will continue to make £42 million a year available to local authorities to fund projects like the Stonehaven Scheme to protect communities most at risk from flooding.”