Offers are in to help Oban parking space demand

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Offers for how to help develop Oban as a town and to ease demand on parking  spaces are now in.

The deadline has passed for potential private sector partners to send in any suggestions.

A number of offers have been received and Argyll and Bute Council is now faced with the task of considering them but a council spokesperson said it could take weeks.

‘We received multiple offers, across all the sites advertised, for what is a great opportunity for Oban. We thank all those businesses and individuals who took time to submit proposals for developments that will support our ambitions for the town and are pleased with the level of interest at this initial stage.

‘The council’s estates and property development team will be in contact with the interested parties, while assessments of feasibility and deliverability of proposals are considered, and will be updating members as matters progress,’ added the spokesperson.

Oban councillor Roddy McCuish has called for a report on the offers to be made available to the area committee at the ‘earliest opportunity’.

BID4Oban chief executive Andy Spence said news that a number of offers had been submitted was ‘encouraging’.

He said: ‘All I’ve heard so far is that there have been a number of offers made. But it’s quite strict because of legalities involved. I think it’s really encouraging as long as the caveat of parking is resolved.’

Argyll and Bute Council is looking to team up with a business partner to re-develop one or more of its current car parks.

The three locations identified  to be redeveloped to ‘maximise economic return’ are the car park on Oban Esplanade, adjacent to the Corran House and Westbay Apartments; the car park adjacent to Albany Street; and the car park in Tweedale Street.

A document previously seen by The Oban Times inviting expressions of interest from potential partners said: ‘A key outcome shall be the creation of a long-term property investment for the council and partner with the protection or enhancement of current parking availability.

‘Long-term lease or profit share is favoured. It is not the council’s preferred option to sell off its land assets. The council shall contribute land and may also invest capital to the project as part of a profit share agreement.

‘Prospective partners are invited to submit a proposal for delivery across one or multiple sites as they see fit to maximise the benefits.’

Cars owners avoiding new parking charges are still clogging up many of the town’s roads.

One of those areas hit is Lochavullin Road on the industrial estate  where vehicles are being left on both sides for days on end, forcing other road users to queue to get past.

A family setting up touring bikes were seen leaving one of the vehicles, close to the trades entrance for the new Marks & Spencer Foodhall, that was left for almost one week.