Are You Concerned About Flooding in Stonehaven?

By bellmannews / October 13, 2021
Over the bay from the Bervie Braes

STONEHAVEN Flood Action Group has prepared a detailed response to the on-going consultation on proposed flood risk management including that for Stonehaven – see earlier reports below.

The group are asking residents who support their submission to provide their details so they can add those names.

From Christopher Anstock of Stonehaven Flood Action Group –

FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT IN STONEHAVEN

SEPA are consulting across Scotland on flood risk management for the 2022-2028 time period. Full details of this consultation are available online at the following link.

https://consultation.sepa.org.uk/evidence-and-flooding/frmplans/

This information while comprehensive at over 170 pages, isn’t very detailed to specific options, potential actions, and reference materials.  

To aid you in responding, the Stonehaven Flood Action Group has prepared the following document.   It details our answers to each of the eleven questions that an individual resident or local business in the Stonehaven PVA (Potentially Vulnerable Area) would have to answer.  

Most of the questions are set out with choices of yes, no, or not sure.  However, there are a few specific text boxes which do need a typed input.  For clarity, the SFAG responses have been shown bold, underlined full capital text with a yellow highlight.

How to add your voice to the Stonehaven Flood Action Group

If you provide the information indicated in the following form, the Stonehaven Flood Action Group will, on your behalf, upload it to the consultation. Note the consultation closes on 31st Oct 2021.

  Name: –       
    Postal Address: – (Inc. post code)     
  Contact email: –       
  Date: –   

Please write with this information to:

Alan Turner, Cowieside House, 9 Ironfield Lane, Stonehaven, AB39 2AG

(Note to enable upload this needs to be done by 12pm on 30th Oct 2021.)

The consultation document – with SFAG’s responses

Question 1.  What is your Name? (Optional)

Answer will be taken from the table above

Question 2. What is your email Address? (Optional)

Answer will either be a SFAG email address with an acknowledgement sent to the email address on page 1 or sent to the email address on page 1

Question 3. What is your interest in this consultation? Are you responding on behalf of:

  • Local authority
  • Scottish Government
  • Community body
  • LOCAL BUSINESS
  • Community group
  • MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC
  • Other organisation

Depending on the postal address given in the table on page 1, this will be entered as either a local business or a member of the public

Question 4. This is a joint consultation with local authorities. Are you happy for your responses to be shared with the local authority?

  • YES, I AM HAPPY FOR MY RESPONSES TO BE SHARED IN FULL
  • Yes, I am happy for my responses to be shared anonymously
  • No, I don’t want my responses to be passed to the local authority

If you are a local authority making a representation on behalf of an individual, please confirm consent for publication of response.

               Yes, I have permission to share all this response with SEPA.

               No, I do not have permission to share this response with SEPA. (If you do not have permission, SEPA will not consider this response in its decision making.)

Question 5. Do you agree that we have identified the main communities and infrastructure that required flood risk management objectives and actions within the North East Local Plan District?

  • YES
  • Not sure
  • No

Share your views with us

Question 6. Are you responding on behalf of a Scottish local authority, or other public sector flooding partner?

(Required)

  • Yes – this response will take you to question 7
  • NO – THIS RESPONSE WILL TAKE YOU TO QUESTION 12

Question 12. What target area objectives are you interested in providing a response to?

Please choose one area from the list below.

  • Portgordon (target area 398)
  • Buckie and Portessie (target area 455)
  • Portsoy (target area 399)
  • Banff (target area 400)
  • Whitehills (target area 401)
  • Macduff (target area 402)
  • Gardenstown (target area 458)
  • Crovie (target area 459)
  • Fraserburgh (target area 408)
  • Pennan (target area 460)
  • Sandhaven (target area 461)
  • Rosehearty (target area 462)
  • Keith (target area 404)
  • Newmill (Keith) (target area 444)
  • Turriff (target area 449)
  • Boddam (target area 406)
  • Peterhead (target area 407)
  • Methlick (target area 450)
  • Huntly (target area 403)
  • Insch (target area 411)
  • Ellon (target area 405)
  • Inverurie (target area 409)
  • Kintore (target area 410)
  • Newburgh (Aberdeenshire) (target area 423)
  • Bridge of Don (target area 412)
  • Dyce (target area 430)
  • Kingswells (north) (target area 445)
  • Kemnay (target area 422)
  • Westhill (target area 416)
  • Aberdeen Central (target area 413)
  • Peterculter (target area 415)
  • Aboyne (target area 417)
  • Tarland (target area 418)
  • Banchory (target area 433)
  • Ballater (target area 414)
  • STONEHAVEN (TARGET AREA 419)
  • Portlethen (target area 425)
  • Cove Bay (target area 424)
  • Nigg Bay (target area 426)
  • Cruden Bay (target area 447)

This response pertains to Stonehaven ONLY.

Question 13:  Do you agree with the proposed package of objectives for this target area?

  • Yes
  • Not sure
  • NO

Share your views

Stonehaven Flood Action Group feel that Objectives 4191 to 4196 are only partially appropriate

Stonehaven Flood Action Group can see no Actions arising from Objective 4191: “Avoid inappropriate development that increases flood risk in Stonehaven”.

The least that we would expect to see would be an obligation on the Planning Department to write, consult on and implement a protocol for this objective within the life of this phase of the FRM Plan.

Given that the Carron River Flood Protection Scheme was planned on the basis of known developments in the area, we would argue that any development that increases run-off on to the Stonehaven side of the by-pass should be described as “inappropriate” in this context.

Question 14. Do you agree that the proposed actions for this target area will work towards achieving the long term objectives?

  • Yes
  • Not sure
  • NO

Share your views with us

41902: Flood Defence Maintenance

Stonehaven Flood Action Group continues to argue for transparency in publicising both the Maintenance Plan timings and the outcomes of all inspections and activities of the Maintenance Plan, preferably in the open-access part of the Council website and in the reports to the Kincardine & Mearns Area Committee. This needs to be included in Action 41902.

41903: Sewer Flood Risk Assessment

This needs to be flagged as urgent to allow the actions on pluvial flooding to proceed quickly. See also comments on the run-off from the A957 into Dunnottar Avenue under Action 41904.

41904: Surface Water Management Plan

The general statements in Action 41904 are welcome, but Aberdeenshire Council is already aware of the need for urgent action to resolve surface water flooding issues where water ponding occurs in heavy rainfall, and will have records drawn from the flooding events in 2009, 2012, 2016 and 2020. This is already on record, so Stonehaven Flood Action Group would find it disappointing if the authority and Scottish Water had not already started working together on “managing water ponding or overwhelmed drainage systems”.

North of the Carron River Scheme: Cameron Street, Barclay Street

Action 41904 should include the immediate commissioning of the new, pumped drainage to remove surface water from Cameron Street. Postponing this till the completion of work on the river between White Bridge and Bridgefield would unnecessarily extend the risk of flooding and the consequent stress suffered by residents and businesses in Cameron Street and Barclay Street.

South of the Carron River Scheme: Dunnottar Avenue, Bridgefield Terrace, Arbuthnot Place, High Street

Aberdeenshire Council is already aware of where water ponding and consequent run-off into domestic and business properties occurs in each of these streets and erects flood defences in the street outside the Villa Café in Arbuthnot Place (for which the Council installed permanent anchor points some years ago!).

  • Action 41904 should include a review of the relative ineffectiveness of the “Arbuthnot Drain” with a view to implementing immediate clearing of the outfall whenever significant rainfall is forecast and installing a pump to improve the rate of flow.
  • It is clear that the principal cause of pluvial flooding in this area is run-off from the A957 into Dunnottar Avenue, through the grounds of the petrol station into Bridgefield Terrace, on down the High Street and Arbuthnot Place and flooding buildings on the way before ponding in the areas already identified.
  • Because the run-off from the A957 originates in fields on the plateau to the east of the road, it carries with it silt and stones which block the road drains, restricting the amount which can be removed by the drainage system and seriously exacerbating the damage to residential and business properties in these streets.

To alleviate this, Action 41904 should include:

  • Planning to channel the run-off from the A957 into the Glaslaw valley as soon as the Flood Protection Scheme has been completed.
  • Use of Natural Flood Management techniques such as swales to remove silt from run-off from fields and of bunds to prevent the run-off from occurring in the first place. Each time silt-laden water floods out of cultivated land, this constitutes a loss of fertile soil and expensive fertilisers, which should be an additional incentive for urgent action.

We are concerned that these known issues are not specifically identified in the proposed Actions while the Farrochie Burn Study is named in three different proposed Actions.

41907: Community Engagement

Stonehaven Flood Action Group continues to make itself available for consultation and engagement on the action required to alleviate or prevent flooding in all parts of the the town, including Natural Flood Management (NFM) techniques. Previous experience shows that initiatives require to be driven by Council officials, albeit with our support. Responsibility for any installations and subsequent maintenance must also lie with the Council.

40905: Flood Scheme or Works Design

Stonehaven Flood Action Group is unable to support the option preferred by the Council officials because we consider that the harms to seafront residents from the raised wall and especially from the raised walkway outweigh the benefits which may accrue in terms of reduced incidence of overtopping.

We continue to argue that disrupting wave transmission by raising the proximate offshore defences will be effective in reducing overtopping while retaining amenity for residents and visitors.

It should be especially recognised that in November 2019, Aberdeenshire’s Councillors, in two separate committees (Infrastructure Services and Kincardine and Mearns Area) only agreed to the preferred option being put forward with the addition of the following amendment:

the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee support taking action to address the flood risk in Stonehaven to achieve a 1/200 year flood protection level. This action recognises the potential need for increase in sea wall height as a result of projected sea level increases. However, the Committee asks that all defences at sea are maximised in order to ensure that the sea wall height is optimised at the lowest achievable level such that promenade need not be raised” In addition, “there should be provision of an offshore reef to attenuate wave energy, i.e., extensions of the Brachans rock platform and effective use of fishtail groynes to both retain sediment and reduce wave action in the most exposed locations.

Further, it should be recognised that when consulted, as part of the study, in June 2019, a potential 1.0-metre raise to the sea wall, promenade path c/w retaining wall, as identified by Aberdeenshire Council as the “preferred option”, was met with widespread resistance and opposition from businesses and residents who live along the sea front.  Ultimately, as part of the study over 100 objections were lodged to this.

40906: Flood Scheme or Works Implementation

Stonehaven Flood Action Group is unable to support the option preferred by the Council officials because we consider that the harms to seafront residents from the raised wall and especially from the raised walkway outweigh the benefits which may accrue in terms of reduced incidence of overtopping.

We continue to argue that disrupting wave transmission by raising the proximate offshore defences will be effective in reducing overtopping while retaining amenity for residents and visitors.

It should be especially recognised that in November 2019, Aberdeenshire’s Councillors, in two separate committees (Infrastructure Services and Kincardine and Mearns Area) only agreed to the preferred option being put forward with the addition of the following amendment:

“the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee support taking action to address the flood risk in Stonehaven to achieve a 1/200 year flood protection level. This action recognises the potential need for increase in sea wall height as a result of projected sea level increases. However, the Committee asks that all defences at sea are maximised in order to ensure that the sea wall height is optimised at the lowest achievable level such that promenade need not be raised” In addition, “there should be provision of an offshore reef to attenuate wave energy, i.e., extensions of the Brachans rock platform and effective use of fishtail groynes to both retain sediment and reduce wave action in the most exposed locations.

Further, it should be recognised that when consulted, as part of the study, in June 2019, a potential 1.0-metre raise to the sea wall, promenade path c/w retaining wall, as identified by Aberdeenshire Council as the “preferred option”, was met with widespread resistance and opposition from businesses and residents who live along the sea front.  Ultimately, as part of the study over 100 objections were lodged to this.

Question 15: Do you agree with the proposed timescales?

  • Yes
  • Not sure
  • NO

Share your views with us

Stonehaven Flood Action Group has the comment that no EXACT specific timescales have been proposed, so we are not prepared to give carte blanche to SEPA, Scottish Water or Aberdeenshire Council without seeing the specifics.

Question 16. Do you see any ways that you, your community or your organisation can help with managing flood risk in this target area?

  • Yes
  • NOT SURE
  • No

Please include any projects you are planning, or working on, which could be linked with other actions or organisations in the area

Stonehaven Flood Action Group continues to make itself available for consultation and engagement on the action required to alleviate or prevent flooding in all parts of the the town, including Natural Flood Management (NFM) techniques. Previous experience shows that initiatives require to be driven by  Council officials, albeit with our support. Responsibility for any installations and subsequent maintenance must also lie with the Council.

Previously in The Bellman