Update December 2014

2014 Report - Sandhaven & Pitullie Harbour Trust

As 2014 draws to a close the Trustees would once again like to express our grateful thanks to our membership and all of our supporters, not just for 2014, but for their support over the years since the formation of Sandhaven Harbour Board, which was set up with the purpose of restoring, redeveloping and managing Sandhaven Harbour.

February 2014 saw work begin on improving the two damaged inner corners of the North breakwater. Supporting blocks had become detached from the breakwater, which, if left unattended, would have led quickly to the collapse of both corners. Aberdeen Marine Services successfully carried out the improvement, not only to the corners, but to other damaged areas as well, at sea bed level, in the channel and to the seaward side of the breakwater. These works were funded by a Scottish Government grant which was gratefully received by the Trust. The Trustees would also like to thank the RBS Micro Finance Fund Group for providing bridging loan facilities, without which this project could not have gone ahead.

May saw the start of the Middle Jetty Enabling Upgrade work, which had previously been postponed until spring to give the project the best possible outcome. The work, successfully carried out by MTM Construction Ltd, allowed 52 metres of previously unusable berthing space to be brought back into use. Funding for the Middle Jetty Upgrade was provided by Aberdeenshire’s Six Key Areas Development Fund initiative, Aberdeenshire Council European Fisheries Fund with a contribution from the Harbour Trust's own funds. Once again, the Trustees were extremely grateful for the RBS Micro Finance Fund Group’s bridging loan facilities. These facilities were crucial in allowing both projects to go forward.

Demand for the newly assembled pontoon arrangement at the Middle jetty was such that vessels were being moved alongside before the pontoons were properly attached to the jetty. Almost all of these newly created berths had an immediate take up. The Middle jetty pontoons were designed, constructed and assembled by Harbourmaster Bill Wishart, whose tireless efforts and exemplary work ethic, on behalf of Sandhaven Harbour, is much admired by his fellow Trustees.

Given that no maintenance work has been carried out to Sandhaven Harbour's East breakwater since 1935, the resulting severe deterioration is there for all to see. Finding a solution to the East breakwater collapse had proved elusive until news that Fraserburgh Harbour Commissionaires were about to embark on a deepening project at Fraserburgh harbour. A 2004 report commissioned by Sandhaven Harbour Trust by Civil Engineers Arch Henderson had advised that an armoured rock improvement plan for Sandhaven Harbour's “big breach” would be the best solution; the proposed upgrade ideally to be formed with two thirds of material used being rock fill, i.e. rock, stones and gravel. With this in mind the Trustees suggested to Fraserburgh Harbour Board that, rather than valuable excavated material from the Fraserburgh Harbour deepening project being dumped at sea, suitable rock, stones and gravel should be donated to Sandhaven harbour for use in a future armoured rock upgrade to the East breakwater.

Thankfully the Fraserburgh Harbour Board eventually agreed to this suggestion and rock started arriving from Fraserburgh. The severe storms of 2012 and 2013 resulted in the N.E. corner of the East breakwater also collapsing, causing the rubble infill to be sucked out, which led to further collapse. The Harbour Trust then applied for consent from Marine Scotland and the Crown Estate for permission to deposit the remaining rock, still to come from Fraserburgh, into the harbour in an effort to reach the damaged corner, to attempt restoration. Unfortunately the necessary permissions took over four months to be granted, which is why the rock and infill storage bunds are currently the height they are. The Trustees would take this opportunity to assure the community that all of the material stored has a purpose: In the fullness of time the rock will be moved to below the M.H.W.S., the other materials will be used to construct bunds to protect the “old road”, and this area will then be returned to use as a vehicle free area for recreational purposes.

The Trustees would like to thank all those involved in the running of, and users of Sandhaven Harbour. Thanks must also go to personnel involved with other harbours along the coast for their kind comments on the progress made by Sandhaven & Pitullie Harbour Trust, and their kind wishes for the future, all of which are greatly appreciated.

Finally we would like to wish all members, harbour users and all others who support Sandhaven & Pitullie Harbour Trust, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous 2015 and beyond.

The Trustees

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