Hazards litter Benderloch beachfront

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Jagged metal, broken glass, sharp nails and broken beams are among hazards posing a danger along a stretch of Benderloch beach, according to local residents.

And those living near Ardmucknish Bay have now raised serious concerns with council officials.

These and other safety concerns were also raised at the last Ardchattan Community Council meeting.

One man, who asked not to be named, warned that a derelict boathouse on the beach, just off the new Sustrans cycle path, by North Ledaig Caravan Site towards the hub of the village viewpoint, is just one of the dangers that need to be made safe before an accident happens.

The man said: ‘It’s in such a state it could collapse at anytime. The structure is a hazard, it’s an accident waiting to happen.’

After The Oban Times put the residents’ concerns to the council, a local authority official visited the boathouse on Tuesday and subsequently served a dangerous building notice on it, which means its owner will have to demolish it.

Further down the beach, a pipe leading under the sand from Ledaig Burn has spouted upwards ‘like a big banana’, breaking through a concrete slab on top of it that had been guarding it.

‘Sometimes it’s like a whirlpool. I’m not sure what state the water is that comes from it but the pipe has bent up like a banana. It’s a danger,’ added the man, who has lived in the area for a number of decades.

A solid wooden fence along a 50m length of the cycle path is currently under ongoing investigation by the council for a possible planning breach.

The two-metre high fence lines the cycle path at the back of the boathouse, allegedly blocking a historic right of way to the beach. Residents say the fence was not included in cycle path plans.

Although another access point has been opened onto the beach, community councillors heard worries that unsuspecting cyclists could hurtle into the fence, which suddenly looms on the path, and injure themselves.

A Sustrans Scotland spokesperson said: ‘The fence is on private land and its construction was raised as part of the negotiations for agreeing the alignment of National Cycle Network Route 78 through North Ledaig Caravan Park, which is owned by Peter Weir.’

Mr Weir was contacted by The Oban Times but had not responded by the time the newspaper went to print.

Oban North and Lorn Councillor Julie McKenzie has taken up the matter with planners on behalf of residents, concerned there seems to have been no consultation before the fence was put up.