Any questions about Oban Bay control?

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Questions about the future of Oban Bay will be raised at a public meeting next month.

The meeting at the Argyllshire Gathering Halls on February 4 at 7pm will give people a chance to find out more about plans for the bay to be run as a community harbour trust port.

Oban Community  Harbour Development Association (OCHDA) has welcomed Argyll and Bute Council’s recent support to help it explore opportunities.

Members of the council’s harbour board have agreed officers will now work with OCHDA to look at how a new Statutory Harbour Authority – covering Oban Bay and its approaches – could be run as a community venture.

OCHDA chairman John MacAlister said: ‘These are still early days but it’s a great encouragement that the council is willing to work in partnership with the community of Oban to see whether a trust port can be established here.

‘Many other ports on the west coast are run as trust ports and these bring considerable benefit to the communities they serve. That’s what we want for Oban. We are keen to hear from anyone who would like to join us
and support our work.’

Marine traffic in Oban Bay has increased, highlighting the need for the waters to be controlled and regulated by a single harbour authority.

Leisure users and businesses in the town raised concerns after CMAL (Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd) announced plans to run the entire harbour, saying having the biggest user having full control of the harbour would not be fair.

Oban Community Harbour Development Association was set up to
develop the option of creating a trust port wanting to see a transfer of the council’s powers and responsibilities in Oban Bay, including those around the North Pier, to the new harbour authority.

Any transfer will not go ahead unless a Harbour Order is granted by Transport Scotland.