Vote moves Screen Machine out Inveraray centre

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Councillors have overturned an earlier vote to site a mobile cinema in an Inveraray car park due to ‘substantial’ safety concerns.

Last December councillors on the Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands Area Committee voted four to two to site the Screen Machine mobile cinema at Fisher Row, and noted the council would lose revenue from its pay and display car park there.

The 18.5m long HGV lorry run by Regional Screen Scotland, equipped with cinema screen and 80 seats, would take up eight parking bays, which could raise £72 per day during the screen machine’s three to four day stay.

The plan, proposed by councillors Douglas Philand and Sandy Taylor, was then referred for approval to the Budget, Policy and Resources Committee, which met last Thursday.

But a majority of councillors defeated the proposal 11 votes to five, noting ‘the substantial safety concerns roads officers have regarding the use of Fisher Row for the Screen Machine; including encroachment onto the public road and pedestrian safety’.

Instead the majority preferred to locate the screen machine ‘at either the hardstanding area near Inveraray Shinty Pitch or at Inveraray Castle Car Park’, following the officers’ recommendations.

Pippa Milne, executive director of development and infrastructure, reported: ‘It is not possible to site the cinema in this location without encroaching on to the public road. This would require traffic management measures to separate vehicles from pedestrians. Permission to waive charges from the full council would be required.

‘Regional Screen Scotland’s preferred position was at the Pier Section of the Front Street Car Park as the public convenience is located adjacent to this site. The distances from the public convenience to the Shinty Pitch or Inveraray Castle car park are approximately 500m and 900m respectively.

‘Following the Inveraray Community Council (CC) meeting, held on the 15 November 2017, the CC have advised that they are willing to pay for portable toilets, public liability insurance and refuse bins if the Screen Machine is sited at either the Inveraray Shinty Pitch area or at Inveraray Castle Car Park.

‘Utilising these sites does not cause any loss of amenity within either the free or pay & display car parks operated by Argyll and Bute Council. It also removes the need to obtain permission from the full Council each time the Screen Machine wishes to visit Inveraray.’