Harbour consultation starts soon

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Development of a community-led harbour authority for Oban will move a step closer later this month with the start of a public consultation.

The exact date of when the consultation will start and how people can get involved are still being firmed up but the month-long ‘have your say’ opportunity will be seeking the views of anyone with an interest in the future of the town’s harbour.

People will be encouraged to make their views and preferences known over the seaward limits of the area which the new Harbour Authority will control.

Oban Community Harbour Development Association (OCHDA) chairman John MacAlister  said: ‘Defining the harbour extent is the first step in a process which will result in making the waters safer for everyone by improving the management of vessel movements, allocation of anchorages for large vessels, controlling vessel speeds and general oversight of the marine environment.’

Details of how to take part in the consultation will appear in next week’s Oban Times.

Despite Covid, work to set up a new community-run Trust Port for Oban in 2021 has continued.

For it to happen, negotiations with Argyll and Bute Council will need to be completed which include the lease of assets at the North Pier  to establish a single harbour authority for the waters of Oban Bay and its approaches.

It is currently proposed that the Trust Port operation will be based on the North Pier and will cover the waters of Oban Bay with Caledonian Marine Assets Limited (CMAL) harbour area as it is now ‘nested’ within it – the railway pier used by the CalMac ferries would be part of it.

In the proposals there will also be special provision for areas around Oban Marina like the Northern Lighthouse Board. The Sound of Kerrera and its approaches would also be included.