Work begins on £1.7million project to protect Moray village from landslips

Work has begun to prevent landslips in Portknockie.
Work has begun to prevent landslips in Portknockie.

Diggers and dumper trucks have moved in on a Moray village to try and ease landslip concerns in the area.

Homes in Portknockie were left perilously close to the cliff-edge following a downpour in September 2017.

Now a £1.7million project financed by Moray Council has begun to try and prevent a repeat of the mud and rubble plunging down the slopes as a result of heavy rain.

Contractor Morrison Construction has created a new road to the village’s harbour to be used when the route snaking down the slope is closed as part of the complex engineering efforts.

Diggers have also started scooping away soil from the top of the cliff as part of preparation work for what experts hope will be the solution to stop landslips from happening again.

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About 260 massive screws, some as long as 20ft, will be drilled into the slope over the coming weeks.

The hole created will then be filled with cement to strengthen the soil and stop it plummeting to the ground.

Huge screws will be drilled into the slope.

Yesterday, Rob Barsby, chairman of Portknockie’s flood action group, said the sight of work being done in the area had come as a great relief to many.

He said: “Everybody will be glad to see the crews doing the work. They’ve started work on a new track for the fishermen to get access while the main road will be closed, which has created a bit of interest.

“It’s going to give a bit of peace of mind to people who have been worried about it.”

Work is expected to continue until July.

Work in the village is expected to continue until July.

Permanent repairs are also expected to be done during the summer to the popular walking and cycle path between Portknockie and Cullen , which was also hit by landslips at the same time.

Charity Sustrans has already carried out temporary repairs on the route while a permanent solution is prepared.

Keith and Cullen councillor Theresa Coull said: “The fear was that there could have been more rainfall like there was, which could have caused more landslips.

“It’s taken a while to get there but that’s the procedure you have to go through to get it right.

“People can have peace of mind now that it’s not been hurried and it’s being done right.”