Ellenabeich discusses options on land sale

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Seil residents zoomed in to hear the latest community council news on plots of land and foreshore up for sale in the conservation village of Ellenabeich.

A freshwater lochan, former slate quarries, extensive foreshore on the Firth of Lorn and the remains of the Grade B-listed old pier are on the market and gathering interest.

The Estates Office in Oban is leading the sale for a landowning family, marketing it as ‘exciting opportunities’ that include landing stages for small vessels, a small car park and multiple parcels of other land suitable for possible future development.

But a number of villagers are already seeking legal advice and some are contacting the land register to dispute ownership of some of the smaller plots, claiming they belong to them.

The meeting heard that the plots also carried financial issues and liabilities, particularly with the old pier that is in such a state it is on the at risk register. Those costs, including public indemnity insurance, would demand an annual spend.

A conservation report by Argyll and Bute Council declared the old pier urgently needed money spending on it. The wall of the wave-lashed quarry next to it is also rapidly deteriorating.

Residents were told there was still a possibility that someone ‘from anywhere’ could come along and buy the whole package outright.

Seil and Easdale Community Council convenor Zim Knight told the heavily attended online meeting that a lot of  time and effort is being put in to talks, research and negotiations with a number of organisations and advisors to come up with options, some that he outlined and said could benefit the village.

He said the community council would continue to canvas people’s views and call another meeting soon.

‘We will be canvassing views to see how we can move forward. We are doing our best,’ he said.

Ward councillor Elaine Robertson commended the community council for their hard work.

‘I’m absolutely impressed at the amount of work that has been carried out. It’s a very complex situation and you have explained why at this meeting. You have options and people can feed back their views to you,’ she said.