£500k from council to repair country's worst hit coastal areas


By Christine Lavelle

SOME of Scotland’s worst affected storm-hit coastal areas will cost more than £500,000 to repair following poor weather and high spring tides earlier in the year, it has been revealed.

Edinburgh’s sea walls suffered widespread damage, after the Firth of Forth took the brunt of the heavy storms, with Fife and East Lothian also affected.

The City of Edinburgh Council is gearing up to approve a series of costly measures to fix damage along the shore from Cramond to Eastfield, which includes £142,000 being spent on repairs at Silverknowes promenade.

But – to foot the bill – the council will have to postpone other works, which includes planned improvements to the A90 flyover, and plans to realign the sea wall in Granton.

At the end of March this year, bad weather across the country saw a tidal surge coincide with highest spring tides of the year.

A council spokesperson in Edinburgh said the storms had left a number of important locations unavailable for general use.

A list of works has been drawn up – the price of which is set to reach £558,000 – with some repairs already underway.

The most expensive of these is £120,000 being spent on repairs to fortifications and walls at Joppa – to begin next month, and £100,000 to replace sand lost from the east end of Portobello beach, which is scheduled for January next year.

The cash is coming from the council’s Services for Communities budget, which will provide £214,000, and the City Development department providing the remaining £344,000.

Work will also be carried out at Seafield, Leith, Newhaven, and South Queensferry.

The council said it had put off replenishing the beach at Portobello until the winter months, to reduce disruptions to beach visitors over the summer.

A council spokeswoman said: “The council has started essential and important repair work to coastal defences which was caused by the worst storm to hit Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth in many years.”

Consistent heavy rains during March led the Scottish Environment Protections Agency issue 18 flood warnings across the country, while high tides on the Firth of Forth also caused concerns.

Scientists believe flooding around Scotland’s coastal regions could increase due to sea levels rising up to 32cm by the year 2080.