Cli­mate change may mean sea wall’s rise could be in­evitable

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS -

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

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