Keep Ganavan Green

A drone captures the area Friends of Ganavan says is under threat of development. Photograph: James Gray

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Friends of Ganavan  (FoG) is a community group set up to try to protect the green space at Ganavan, including the surrounding hills that the public has accessed for generations.

The Oban Times is kindly backing us by providing regular column space so we can keep everyone up to date with what is happening at Ganavan.

When consultation was invited on the Local Development Plan (LDP) 2 there was huge opposition to the designation of a Potential Development Area covering the green space and hills at Ganavan (PDA 4023). This had already appeared in the first LDP in 2015 and it was apparent there was serious intention to develop housing over this area – backed up by an architect’s plans.

A consultation process on the whole plan was carried out in January 2020. Well done to
everyone who battled the difficult form and objected to this PDA proposal – 143 against and two in support.

A Facebook group was set up to lobby councillors and council officials to remove the Ganavan PDA, as well as spreading awareness of the issue. We now have 3,400 followers! The plan will be submitted to the Scottish Government in April 2021. Objections that we have made will go to the Government Reporter who will determine the content of the entire Local Plan, including the Ganavan PDA. This examination will be completed in October 2021 and come back to the council for adoption in spring 2022.

We have been told that this is only a POTENTIAL development area and the housing element may not happen. However, FoG’s concern is that once an area is designated a PDA, the success of a future planning application is almost guaranteed.

People should NOT be worried about the beach – it is an Open Space Protected area. The sands, including the strip behind the beach and the car park, was gifted by Dunstaffnage Estate to the people of Oban – now owned by the council.

The remaining land is privately owned by Dunstaffnage Estates. FoG has written to the
trustees highlighting the importance of this area to the public and asking if they would gift the area as a legacy to the town and its visitors for the purpose it is currently being used for.

Friends of Ganavan is committed to protecting this very special place from housing