Coast protection


Aberdeenshire Council’s prime responsibility is to carry out duties imposed by the Coast Protection Act 1949 and to inspect and maintain coast protection structures in its ownership with the objective of preventing erosion and damage, all in the interests of public safety.


The Coast Protection Act 1949 empowers Local Authorities with coastlines, (termed Coast Protection Authorities) to carry out coast protection work inside and outside their area as necessary, subject to the approval of the Scottish Executive. Capital works may, if approved, be eligible for grant aid from the Scottish Executive up to 80% of eligible costs. Proposed schemes, other than maintenance or emergency operations, must be advertised and provide value for money as demonstrated by a rigorous cost benefit analysis.

The powers given to Aberdeenshire Council under the Act are permissive, this means it is not obliged to protect eroding coastlines. Instead, responsibility for management and prevention of erosion rests with the landowner of the site concerned. Schemes proposed by landowners require the consent of the Council and are not eligible for grant under the Act.


Who to call if you are concerned about a coastal erosion issue:

  • Aberdeenshire Council from 8am - 6pm: Tel 03456 08 12 05 and from 6pm - 8am Police Scotland on 101
  • In an emergency where there is a threat to public safety: Emergency service 999 and ask for Fire or Coastguard