Plans to establish a Municipal Harbour, to strengthen the safe running of Oban Bay, are progressing well.
Argyll and Bute Harbour Board will receive that update at their meeting this week (31 January 2024).
The council welcomed responses to the recent consultation on a draft Harbour Revision Order (HRO), conducted through Transport Scotland. Held between 30 November and 10 January, the consultation invited views from communities and more widely, in line with requirements set out in national guidelines.
Statutory consultees, as directed by Scottish Ministers, included:
- Scottish Environment Protection Agency
- Northern Lighthouse Board
- The Royal Yachting Association Scotland
- Planning and Building Standards – Argyll and Bute Council
- UK Chamber of Shipping
- Maritime and Coastguard Agency
The council will now review all representations made, with Transport Scotland, and respond directly to individuals or groups. This information will be passed to Transport Scotland and from there the application will be decided by Scottish Ministers.
The HRO is the result of extensive public discussion on the need and wish for unified harbour arrangements and a 2021 independent study to look at the best way to achieve this. This additional information has been made available to Transport Scotland to be included in their considerations.
Councillor Andrew Kain, Chair of the Harbour Board and Policy Lead for Roads and Transport said:
“I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation. “Oban Harbour plays such a critical role in the economies of Oban and the isles, through travel, tourism and business life. We want to improve safe and secure access to and from the town for all mariners, visitors and pleasure craft.
“This takes the co-operation of a lot of people who have important views. At our last meeting, the council’s Harbour Board agreed terms of reference for operating a Municipal Harbour Board. This will include two user consultative forums – one for all stakeholders using the harbour and local communities, and one for those organisations with financial or legal management responsibility within parts of Oban Bay.
“Everyone wants what’s best for the harbour and its users, the island communities and the wider community of Oban and surrounds.”