Major new investment to safeguard iconic Stonehaven Harbour

By bellmannews / March 9, 2022
calm waters reflect rusty sheet piling

From Aberdeenshire Council communications team –

A major infrastructure programme to safeguard the long-term future of the iconic Stonehaven Harbour will commence in May.

Aberdeenshire Council is investing £2.2million in the works as part of its wider improvement strategy to protect and enhance the region’s harbours.

Following tender approval by the council’s Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee, Devon-based contractors Teignmouth Maritime Services Ltd (TMS) have been appointed to lead the project which will be completed by October this year.

The steel sheet piling at Stonehaven Harbour has suffered corrosion and pitting to the extent that there are now large voids in the existing sheet piles. This has resulted in the material behind the sheet piles being exposed and at risk of being washed out by the tidal sea waters.

As the material behind the sheet piles is primarily made up of rubble and loose material, if this were to be washed out over time it could lead to potential collapse of the piers themselves.

The critical works will involve new sheet piles being installed immediately in front of the existing structure, with the gap between the walls being infilled.

TMS will seek to minimise any increase in pier dimensions to maintain navigational channels as far as practicably possible and to allow the existing boom – which is used to protect the inner harbour during storms – to be used after the improvements.

Stonehaven councillor and chair of the K&M Area Committee, Wendy Agnew, said: “Ensuring the long-term survival of the harbour is absolutely vital for the whole of Stonehaven and I very much welcome these works to safeguard our wonderful attraction. 

“Of course we fully appreciate this will cause some disruption and we will be engaging directly with residents, businesses, harbour users and community groups to ensure that everyone is aware of the works, access arrangements and any road closures throughout the summer.”

Philip McKay, Head of Roads and Infrastructure at Aberdeenshire Council, explained: “This is a hugely-important improvement scheme for Stonehaven which was unfortunately postponed owing to the impact of the Covid pandemic on the construction industry.

“Given the deteriorating condition of the existing harbour infrastructure, this is quite simply a must-do project and timing to coincide with the summer tides and weather is equally critical.

“We appreciate there will be some disruption this summer, however we want the town’s harbour to remain a wonderful tourist attraction and a source of economic wealth for the town for decades to come.”

A programme of community engagement for both residents and businesses will be confirmed prior to the works commencing in May.