On the eastern coast of Fife in Scotland, two historical harbours, namely Lower Largo and the St Andrews Harbour were impacted by Storm Babet, with historical harbours, piers and slipways suffering destruction and total loss of sections of marine structures. While both sites and coastlines are no stranger to storms and damage, the magnitude and ferocity of  Storm Babet caused damage and loss not experienced or equalled within the last 100 years. PwC UK calculated the cost of damage due to the severe weather for insured assets by Storm Babet to be between £450-£650m.


While Storm Babet could be seen as the ‘big one’ which caused significant initial damage, following storms in quick succession mainly storms Ciaran in early November 2023, and Debi in mid-November 2023 and with the harder shells of the coastal assets and protection damaged by Babet exposing the softer cores of structures to further storm force winds resulted in further damage and deterioration. Further storms in 2024 have been equally unkind.

Lower Largo Harbour

Both Lower Largo and St Andrews marine structures are within community trust stewardship and Fairhurst’s specialist marine engineering departments have been meeting and supporting the community trusts. Fairhurst have been appointed by both trusts to support and assist in assessing the extent of storm damage, provision of geotechnical, civil, structural, planning services for design and management of repair and reinstatement of these locally important spaces. Both marine structures are currently undergoing a feasibility assessment for repair. The feasibility assessment includes an options assessment at each site which includes preliminary design, cost analysis, geotechnical assessment, planning and conservation assessment as well as constructability assessment considering their location.

We have engaged with the trusts, supported events, gained understanding of their aspirations for repair and future plans for the spaces. With the significant role of infrastructure in the community, we are dedicated to working with the trusts to reinstate these important structures.

Fairhurst offers a comprehensive array of civil and marine engineering consultancy services, ranging from small-scale assessments to large strategic endeavours. Regardless of the project’s size, nature, or complexity, we possess the essential skills and expertise to meet our clients’ diverse needs.

For more information on our civil engineering services, please contact your local Fairhurst office.

St Andrews Harbour

Video Credit: © Largo Communities Together trust

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