Plans for a flood protection scheme for Stonehaven will not face a public inquiry following assessment by Scottish Ministers.
The government said it is content with the plans and the processes taken to reach the final proposed design.
Following a decision to agree the scheme in principle, Aberdeenshire Council had to notify Ministers of its position, given outstanding objections from some residents after changes were made to the multi-million pound proposals.
After consideration of all the documentation relating to the plans, they decided not to call in the scheme and instead have referred it back to the council to hold a public hearing.
An independent Reporter will be appointed to hear all arguments and make a recommendation, which will then be reported to the appropriate council committee.
Designed to protect residential, non-residential and commercial land from a one in 200-year flood event, the scheme has been in preparation for a number of years.
A number of consultations have allowed supporters and objectors to give their views up to this point, shaping the final scheme.
Council officers have worked to accommodate modifications to the plans to alleviate issues raised by objectors, but some could not be resolved.
The council said, given the need to hold a public hearing, it is unlikely work on the ground will start before mid-to-late 2017, as officers and some members of the community had hoped.
Major flooding has hit Stonehaven within the reach of the lower River Carron over many years, most recently 1988, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2012, which have caused the evacuation of nearby residents.
A disastrous 2012 flood event which saw the town deluged and residents forced from their homes by the waters of the River Carron just days before Christmas.
The incident also led to the formation of the Stonehaven Flood Action Group to act as a focus for interested locals to become involved in issues surrounding the flooding events and the subsequent proposed flood prevention scheme.