Oban draft Harbour Revision Order approved 1st September 2023
A meeting of Argyll & Bute Harbour Board (1/9/23) approved both the draft Harbour Revision Order, for submission to Transport Scotland, and the consultation arrangements for the future operation of the proposed Municipal Harbour Authority.
Oban Community Harbour Development Association have issued this press release following the meeting:
"Oban Harbour – Council to carry on regardless!
Despite concerns raised by harbour users and other stakeholders, including Oban Community Council, the Oban Bay Stakeholders Group and the Oban Community Harbour Development Association, Argyll and Bute Council’s Harbour Board agreed last week to carry on with their plans for the harbour unchanged.
Local stakeholders, including many users of the Bay, have expressed concern over the future safety arrangements in the Bay and asked the Council to review their proposals. This would not need to alter the timescale for the new Harbour Authority and would ensure that safety arrangements, now and in the future, are effective. Before the new Harbour Authority takes responsibility for the wider waters of the Bay their proposals should be considered carefully by those who use the waters of the Bay: the ferry operators, the Northern Lighthouse Board, cruise ships from Oban and elsewhere, fishing and aquaculture boat operators and the many leisure boat owners who are based in or visit the Bay. This has not happened.
The Council’s proposals, to establish two consultative groups, are not clear regarding who is to be consulted over what and could lead to different safety advice being given by each group. Any confusion regarding safety arrangements is clearly dangerous and unacceptable. However the Harbour Board did not even question Officers regarding the clear overlap between the groups and refused the request to pause and review their proposals in consultation with users and stakeholders.
The next step in the development of the Municipal Harbour Authority will be a 6 week public consultation and this will now become unnecessarily complicated, in view of the Council’s lack of engagement with users and stakeholders. Any concerns that they have regarding these proposals will have to resolved during the formal consultation and, if the Council refuses to listen to these views, a public inquiry may be required, leading to further delays to this overdue development."