The ill-fated Portgordon harbour suffered another set back this week following further damage to the east pier.
The strong wind after-effects of Hurricane Gonzalo meant that the upper retaining wall holding back the pebble beach collapsed into the breach.
Vice chairman of the Portgordon Harbour Group Colin Hanover described the damage as being three times as bad and said the shingle had been pushed up.
Local resident Fred Murray said the work has been so long in starting and he felt that it would have been better carried out in the summer.
Aberdeen Marine Services Ltd were recently appointed to carry out the repairs and had hoped to have it completed before the end of the year, but now say the scope of the works may need to change because of the recent damage.
Contractors were on site this week with the work expected to start on Monday.
Alan Laidlaw, rural and coastal portfolio manager for the Crown Estate, said: “Further studies done in recent weeks has brought to light more evidence of damage to the structural integrity of the inner pier and harbour area, reaffirming the need to have boats removed for the safety of harbour users and the importance of the repairs for coast protection and flood prevention.”
Mr Laidlaw added: “Following recent discussions with the harbour group and the wider community, the Crown Estate looked into the possibility of storing the boats on another part of the harbour.
“Unfortunately, this was not possible for safety and security reasons, so the removal date was extended from September 30 to October 7 to allow boat owners more time to find alternative storage facilities in a more secure location.”
The future of the harbour’s east pier has been in doubt since a 40ft section collapsed during a blizzard before Christmas last year.
The Crown Estate is working with the harbour group to discuss the future of the harbour, including the offer to transfer ownership of the pier and harbour to a local body.