Ganavan camper van plan could cost £43,000

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Argyll and Bute Council would have to spend more than £40,000 to install camper van facilities at Ganavan Sands car park, a report has revealed.

Changes have been discussed after a surge in camper vans during the pandemic. The vehicles are currently banned from the car park but had been parking on the adjacent Ganavan Road leading to road safety problems.

On Wednesday, councillors are set to debate possible changes, but there is a warning that they could carry annual maintenance costs estimated at more than £12,000, while there is also no allocated budget for the works.

The Oban, Lorn and the Isles area committee had asked the council to investigate a traffic restriction order (TRO) banning camper vans from Ganavan Road, at a point between the Lancaster Hotel to the car park entrance.

The committee also agreed to investigate the potential costs in providing camper van facilities at the car park which is also a popular port of call for many responsible visitors.

The motion, as detailed in a report for the forthcoming meeting, reads: ‘In recent months, as a direct consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and the UK and Scottish Government recommendation for staycations, there has been a marked increase in the number of camper vans visiting the area and seeking to park overnight.

‘As the current Ganavan car park restrictions prohibit this; camper van visitors are being displaced along the 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 the Ganavan Road, would serve to enhance the area in terms of amenity and safety whilst also providing economic benefit.’

A set of indicative costs show that installing facilities would carry a total estimated bill of £43,500.

This includes £18,000 for a clean water standpipe, £12,000 for a lighting system and £7,000 for a flushing unit and septic tank.

In addition, the annual maintenance cost is estimated at £12,357, the bulk of which is emptying of the septic tank which it is reckoned would cost £12,000.

The report also warned that there was no identified budget or funding mechanism for any project to install facilities at Ganavan.

The report added: ‘Argyll and Bute offers areas of outstanding natural beauty and is a highly favourable tourist destination pre-dating Covid-19.

‘There is a rise in the use of the site at Ganavan by motorhomes therefore consideration needs to be given to the most appropriate way to manage this increased use.’