NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Landslip threat to coastal village of Gardenstown

Wall damage in Gardenstown Image copyright Hamish Partridge
Image caption A temporary retaining wall has collapsed

A landslip-damaged slope above a north-east coastal village is being monitored after heavy rain caused more problems.

A temporary retaining wall built at Harbour Road in Gardenstown - the only road access to the lower part of the village - has partially collapsed.

Aberdeenshire Council and Police Scotland spent the night at the scene and three households were moved. They returned on Wednesday evening.

The council said its roads team would be back at the scene on Thursday.

A spokesman said: "We are still awaiting detailed technical information about the area of the landslip from our consultants, but we have been monitoring the site throughout today and there continues to be no significant deterioration.

"Our roads team will be there again tomorrow with heavy equipment to start to clear the closed section of road of material from the landslip and rebuild the temporary wall, which appears to have helped hold material back, as intended.

Safety advice

"This is with a view to continuing to open the road on a temporary basis for the benefit of residents, as had been happening before the latest movement. Clearly this will be informed by the technical information we receive on an ongoing basis and any change in conditions.

"The residents of three nearby households who left last night on the safety advice of council officers have chosen to return to their homes in the meantime. We will continue to keep them informed of any developments, along with other residents of the village."

Meanwhile, a flood warning remains in force for Arbroath and a number of roads in Fife have been closed.

Image caption Restrictions are in place in Gardenstown

The A915 at Upper Largo, the A823 in Dunfermline and the A955 at East Wemyss have all been affected as well as some B-roads following rainfall combined with melting snow.

The lower half of Gardenstown has been partially cut off since the initial landslip at the end of November, with the road only open for a few hours at a time to allow supervised access.

Residents have recently voiced frustration at the length of time it has taken to fix the problem.

Exploratory work to find a solution began last month but no timescale has been given for the work.

Image copyright Ian Smith/Geograph
Image caption The landslip threatens the only road to the lower part of Gardenstown

A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said: "We have had engineers on site through the night monitoring the landslip at Gardenstown and despite heavy rain there has been no obvious significant deterioration.

"A temporary wall built by us to contain falling debris from the initial slip in November has collapsed under the weight of loose material and we have had to extend the cordon around the closed road in the interest of safety.

"Our geotechnical consultants, currently working on site to look at long term solutions, will give us an updated expert view on the risk being posed to allow us to take further decisions.

"This will include whether or not the temporary road openings which have been taking place will still go ahead."

Safety advice

The spokesman added: "Last night three households were offered advice in terms of their safety and made arrangements to stay elsewhere for the evening - we will also share our technical advice with them to allow them to consider their next steps.

"We are also continuing to ensure the emergency services are informed in terms of any access they might require to the village.

"Roads colleagues have been carrying out minor maintenance around the village where they can this morning, unblocking gullies where necessary and allowing excess water to drain away as much as possible."

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