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Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) says it is aware of concerns from Corpach residents over noise and light pollution, and the potential for any deep water expansion of the local port to exacerbate those problems.
The assurance came in the wake of a visit last week to Lochaber by the board of HIE during which board members met businesses and community groups.
There have been long-standing complaints from Corpach residents that not enough was being done by Highland Council to tackle noise and light pollution issues.
Back in the summer, a meeting of the local Kilmallie Community Council heard an update on the feasibility study currently being carried out into the creation of a deep water port at Corpach.
The meeting also heard about the disturbance caused by ships’ onboard generators running throughout the night, as well as ships sometimes docking in port on a Sunday in what some residents’ claim is a contravention of the port operating conditions.
The feasibility study is being worked on by HIE, along with Boyd Brothers Haulage and Liberty British Aluminium.
However, as well as complaints about current noise and light pollution issues, there are growing concerns that because of the perceived lack of action by Highland Council to tackle these issues, any expansion of the port will risk making such problems considerably worse.
Asked this week if, after its visit to Lochaber, the board of HIE knew of the residents’ complaints, a spokesperson for HIE told the Lochaber Times: ‘We are aware of those concerns and that they are being monitored through the relevant authorities.
‘In progressing future development, we would expect an Environmental Impact Assessment will be required, and this would include habitats, air quality, noise and visual aspects.
‘This would be reviewed by relevant agencies in terms of both construction and operation.’