Parking issues will take up space at Soroba talks

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Congested parking on Colonsay Terrace is on the agenda of a special meeting later this month to improve Soroba.

Concern about emergency vehicles getting into Colonsay Terrace was raised before Oban community councillors at their June meeting on Zoom.

Community councillor convenor Marri Malloy said the issue would be highlighted at a socially-distanced meeting on July 20 of representatives from Soroba Community Enterprise, ACHA and Councillor Jim Lynch, representing Argyll and Bute Council.

Examples were put forward at the community council meeting of emergency vehicles struggling to get access to Colonsay Terrace because of packed parking, and of tenants facing life-restricting issues due to the problem.

In June, social housing provider ACHA put on a  public event at Soroba Football Pitch of plans to give the estate a makeover.

Feedback from a consultation last autumn was used to draw up the ideas so far, which ACHA hopes will improve the area’s environment for people living there.

The housing landlord says there is a lot of work to be done and it will take several years to complete uncluttering streets, upgrading parking, moving and screening off bins, improving play areas and protecting emergency access.

Tree planting, creating flower meadows, new railings, drying areas, tidying up abandoned spots and possibly developing a new playpark are among other ideas to revamp the estate’s environment.

‘From what I’ve seen of ideas so far it looks great, but we need to ask questions of ACHA, such as when will work start and have they got all the money in the pot to make this revamp a reality,’ said Mrs Malloy speaking after June’s CC meeting.

There have been calls for a designated emergency service parking area at Colonsay Terrace.

In 2019 The Oban Times reported how an Aerial Rescue Platform and ambulance could not get to a flat fire because of cars parked on either side of the street.

One of the ideas mooted  was to move a children’s play park in Colonsay Terrace to a current green wasteland space around the corner and put an emergency vehicle-only box in its place.

ACHA’s chief executive Alastair MacGregor said: ‘Soroba was never designed for the number of vehicles that households currently have, and there are similar  issues reflected across nearly  all estates in Oban, Lorn and the Isles  where ACHA tenants and others reside,’ but added the  emergency services have not raised any concerns with the Association with respect to access to Colonsay Terrace.

June’s outdoor consultation event was successful with around  30 people attending.  The response was very positive,  especially to the first phase of improvements to the bins and landscaping at Scalpay Terrace added Mr MacGregor who confirmed an ACHA representative would be at the July 20 meeting to give an update on the consultation.