Highlands & Islands

Highland Council asks for emergency storm damage funds

Wave at Balintore
Image caption Balintore Harbour was among sites to be damaged by the recent storm surges

Highland Council has asked the Scottish government for emergency funding to help cover the cost of damage caused by recent storms which swept the area.

Piers, harbours and coastal defences were damaged in storm surges along the eastern coastline.

The council's early estimates of the cost of repairing sites it owns stood at more than £1m.

Local authorities have been allowed to apply for emergency funds to help deal with the damage.

The Scottish government recently activated the Bellwin scheme, which helps councils in the wake of large-scale incidents.

'Extensive damage'

In a letter to Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead, Highland Council leader Drew Hendry said: "In Highland, the storm surge caused extensive damage along the eastern coastline between Wick and Nairn and our officials are currently carrying out detailed inspections to assess the nature and extent of the damage.

"We have experienced significant damage to existing coastal defences which threatens the homes of many coastal communities."

Mr Hendry said there had been extensive damage to the council's harbours at Balintore and Portmahomack, as well as damage to a number of links golf courses and coastal footpaths.

He added: "The detailed assessment has still to be completed, and this will involve underwater surveys of harbour walls, however the initial estimate is that the overall cost of repairs will be significant."

He added: "I welcome your commitment to consider providing emergency financial assistance to meet the costs of these repairs and would very much welcome the opportunity of an early meeting with you to discuss what financial assistance the Scottish government can provide."

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