‘Much concern’ over erosion in Montrose

Montrose coastal erosion
Montrose coastal erosion

A Montrose councillor has highlighted that townsfolk are concerned about the erosion of the burgh’s beach and golf course.

Bill Duff addressed other elected members at a meeting of the communities committee, which heard an update on the Montrose Beach study, this week.

Councillors approved proposals for future continuation of the implementation of measures to manage beach erosion as funding allocations allow.

Mr Duff said: “Currently there is much concern in Montrose about beach erosion and not just within the golfing fraternity.

“Indeed some are concerned that Montrose may be in imminent danger of flooding.

“I have had discussions with scientists within the university sector together with Mairi Evans MSP and last week I had a long conversation with a geomorphologist who works with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and is currently carrying out a project for Scottish Government mapping the changes to the Scottish coastline over the past 130 years.

“To summarise, the council’s strategy is supported.

“The risk of flooding in Montrose is considered to be decades away.

“As a result, the flood study over six years is being carried out in a timely fashion and well before any risk of flooding.

“This will determine the risk of flooding and will allow the council to access Government funding if there is a real flood risk to Montrose.”

Mr Duff said SNH regards natural dune defences as desirable and 85 per cent of the Scottish coast is defended this way.

He added: “They are not absolutely ruling out hard defences but it is likely that they would only support modest schemes.

“We also know that hard defences are prohibitively expensive at approximately £1 million per 100 metres.”

Funding options are being explored.

The measures proposed are intended to slow down the rate of erosion in the dune system by promoting an increase in the height of the upper beach to reduce the susceptibility of the dune toe to wave attack without detrimentally impeding long-shore sediment transport.

These include a full-scale sediment trial, repairs and renewal works to the hard coastal defences and the removal of rock armour at the headlands adjacent to the golf course.

Officers continue to work with Montrose Golf Links Limited (MGLL) representatives and committee in the development of the golf course realignment.

Mr Duff said: “There is a clear responsibility on MGLL to realign the Medal Course and take on board the consistent advice given by council engineers to move the sea holes, which were only constructed in the 1920s, and ensure the long term future of the course.”