Climate change may mean sea wall’s rise could be inevitable
Flooding experts have stressed they “don’t want” to build a controversial wall along a popular promenade – but say problems such as climate change make it necessary.
Proposals for flood solutions that could forever change Stonehaven’s seafront went before the Kincardine and Mearns area committee yesterday.
Councillors grilled the engineers behind the works, who have recommended the town’s sea walls be raised by 3ft from Cowie to the harbour.
Lee Watson, principal engineer at JBA Consulting, said they were aware some aspects of the recommendations were “contentious”.
He added: “Sea walls need to be raised and all our findings show climate change will call for an increased need for this.
“We don’t want to raise the wall – but that’s the result of our findings and will protect the town for a substantial period longer than other options.”
Local resident Alan
Turner, a member of the Stonehaven Flood Action Group, said the proposed wall would be detrimental to homeowners and impact on businesses.
Councillor Sarah Dickinson called for the impact on the town to be assessed.
She said: “The front is critical to the economy of Stonehaven. More than 80% of our visitors come for that amenity.”
Mr Watson said it was an “oversight” not to carry out an assessment but insisted he was “not pulling wool over anyone’s eyes”.
Under the plans, the town will be split into three zones with a different variety of flood prevention measures in place to protect them for decades.
Senior engineer with JBA Doug Pender said: “As sea levels rise, there is no other way to manage that other than by raising the sea walls. This will manage present and future risks to the town.”
He added a glass or transparent wall structure was “potentially” an option.
The matter will be raised again at the next meeting of Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure committee.
People in Stonehaven are worried about a bigger wall