Special meeting will hear Ganavan management plans

Ganavan Sands

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Reports on how parking at Ganavan could be better managed will come to a special meeting of Oban and Lorn councillors on October 14.

A motion was passed at last week’s Oban Lorn & The Isles Area Committee asking Argyll and Bute’s roads and infrastructure service to consider the feasibility of banning campervans, caravans and commercial vehicles from parking overnight on the road directly in front of The Lancaster Hotel, up Ganavan Road to the entrance of the beach car park.

Providing a tap and waste disposal facility at the car park was also part of the motion proposed by Councillor Julie McKenzie and seconded by Councillor Kieron Green after a marked increase in the number of campervans visiting the area and seeking to park overnight.

‘As the current Ganavan car park restrictions prohibit this, campervan visitors are being displaced along Ganavan Road in even greater numbers than previously which has led to issues of public health and road safety, causing considerable distress to residents.

‘The provision of a warm welcome and fit for purpose, managed and chargeable facilities for campervans at Ganavan, in partnership with the introduction of overnight parking restrictions on Ganavan Road would serve to enhance the area in terms of amenity and safety whilst also providing economic benefit,’ read the motion.

Officers have also been asked to investigate and figure out the costs of work needed to provide basic services for overnight campervans at Ganavan and bring a report and recommendations to the special area committee next month so the issue can be dealt with as a matter of urgency.

Concerns about the Ganavan car park were raised and led to a lengthy discussion as part of public question time. Marri Malloy, chairperson of Oban Community Council, spoke as an Oban resident to give her own view and told the meeting she objected to plans to turn the car park into camping space for vans.

‘That land was gifted to the people of Oban for their recreation. I object as an Oban resident that I can’t go out and enjoy my local beach.’ On a recent trip to Ganavan, Mrs Malloy said caravans were sitting edge to edge taking up more than one space each, leaving it impossible for her to get parked.

‘Vans shouldn’t be camping at Ganavan,’ she said.

Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Green said: ‘No one wants to see a repeat of  the anti-social behaviour that has occurred at Ganavan such as dumping waste. It’s not something that’s tenable so it’s really welcome that we can look for a way in which we can manage this better.’

The motion also called on officers to outline steps on how consultation on the proposals can be carried out urgently with residents and the wider community before any of the work is approved by the area committee.