Portknockie residents get comfort following approval to spend £1.7m repairing landslips

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Portknockie residents under threat from coastal landslips can look forward to a secure future following Moray Council’s approval of a £1.7million repair scheme.

Land slips occurred on steep banks below Harbour Road, Patrol Road last September following heavy rain.

Engineers identified a total of 22 slips across the area, some classed as high risk to the stability of roads and property.

After the slips had occurred, the council appointed consultants to assess the damage and provide details of remedial schemes. Of the four options – with option one doing nothing – councillors voted to progress option three as the most cost-effective and beneficial to residents.

Councillor for Keith and Cullen ward that includes Portknockie, Cllr Donald Gatt, said that doing nothing was never an option.

“All ward members agreed that the council needed to act, and I’m delighted that the most suitable solution will be progressed,” he said.

“Naturally, with the financial position the council is in this is going to have an impact on the ensuing year’s budgets, but – like Cullen harbour wall – these emergency works will come up from time to time and we have to be prepared for them.

“The annual cost of borrowing this sum of money is going to be £100,000, but we can’t see people’s homes and livelihoods affected any further, or have residents cut off”.

The project is expected to start later this year after a contractor is appointed and preparatory work has been completed.

Meanwhile discussions are being arranged with Scottish Water in a bid to improve drainage systems in the village, which would reduce the risk of similar slips occurring in the future.