Seil community council round-up

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Service buses coming into Ellenabeich on Seil have finally got the go-ahead to turn in the car park belonging to the former Highland Arts Centre in the heart of the heritage village.

An agreement has been reached between bus company West Coast Motors and the site’s owner Tony Hill, Seil Community Council heard last week.

The agreement starts in April for two years but does not include turning for tourist coaches.

Community councillors have asked Argyll and Bute Council planners to come up with a drawing of a turning area that could be a long-term solution for all buses and coaches to use. The idea is that the draft could be shown to residents first to make sure it is something they would want, rather than object to.

A possibility could be creating a turning area at the top of the slipway opposite the old Highland Arts Centre building but it would be expensive.

Stills of drone footage have now been sent to planners before a final decision is made on Scottish Water’s plans for a new £5.6 million waste water treatment site on the island. The images show the proposed access to the site.

Ellenabeich’s phone box is still out of order, although the working parts needed are believed to have arrived at BT’s depot, the meeting was told.

Community councillors have asked to see Argyll and Bute Council’s regular update reports on the structural state of the island’s bridges, after islandeers’ concerns they are looking ‘tatty’. Community councillor Seumas Anderson said: ‘We’re just not sure what they are saying about the state of the bridges is what we are seeing. They are visibly looking tatty.’

Council surveyors have also been looking at the condition of the slipways at Ellenabeich and on Easdale after Storm Brendan.

Drivers are being reminded to show care and consideration on the island’s roads. Police have offered to carry out random speed checks, an offer appreciated by the community council and members of the public. The road passing through Balvicar and its school bus stop is a particular worry. Pedestrians were also reminded of the importance of being seen in the dark.

The island is also working on its Emergency Plan, creating a directory of 4×4 owners and those with useful equipment such as chainsaws.

Those at the meeting were also told Argyll and Bute’s latest local development plan consultation received 700 plus representations from people. Seil Community Council made it known they did not want to see any ribbon-development on the island, wanted to keep protecting the conservation area and did not  want to see its current infrastructure overloaded.

Finally, bins are also a big issue for people living in Ellenabeich. A lack of general bins – especially in the 90-space public car park and near the ferry – means visitors are filling up bins belonging to residents so they are overflowing and some are even stuffing litter into the grit bin. Attempts are going to be made to get residents’ bins emptied every two weeks instead of every three weeks.