Comment on the Wrasse hatchery application

The existing hatchery and associated works on the Lossit point gravel beach.

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Argyll and Bute council has received 145 publicly available comments about the plan for a Wrasse hatchery at Lossit point. The following representation was marked as neutral on the council’s planning website:

Sir,

I am writing to you on behalf of Machrihanish Holiday Park to make comment on the proposed development at Lossit Point, Machrihanish, planning reference 17/00642/PP.

As a local tourism business, we depend on strong local attractions to encourage people to stay in Machrihanish. Our customers come to the area for walking, cycling, bird watching, golf and surfing. They make use of the golf courses at Machrihanish, Machrihanish Dunes and Dunaverty and walk, swim, fish and surf at Machrihanish, Westport, Lossit Point and the Gauldrons.

As a business we have up to 200 guests staying with us each day, many of these guests come specifically to visit the Gauldrons. In terms of this application we note that the area is not designated as a zone for development and that there is already a business park at MACC, this development would result in two industrialised areas at either end of Machrihanish. From a tourism pperspective we see the benefit of one industrial area.

Such a development would result in a large increase in traffic, especially heavy goods vehicles. The local road infrastructure is currently unsuitable for such an increase.

The largest amount of pedestrian traffic in Machrihanish is generated by visitors, staying at Machrihanish Holiday Park, walking into the village to go to the beach, Gauldrons, Ugadale Hotel, Old Club House Pub, golf club and the play park.

At present there is a newly installed road level footpath from the holdiay park to the village which is one metre wide and a raised footpath from the edge of the village to its centre which is less than a metre wide.

The section of road between the holiday park and the village is national speed limit and therefore the acceleration zone from traffic leaving the village, puts this traffic in conflict with the largest amount of pedestrian traffic in Machrihanish, without the protection of a raised footpath.

As both footpaths are one metre wide or below groups of people naturally walk, one on the road and one on the footpath so they can walk together.

The suitability of a large increase in HGV traffic and pedestrians sharing the same road space should be taken into consideration.

If the application is successful we would like planning gain to be used to widen the footpaths to national standard, raise the ground level footpath, put in traffic calming measures, reduce car speed within the village to 20mph and from the holiday park to the village to 30mph.

There should also be consideration of the traffic movement from the proposed development during the construction and post construction so as not adversely disturb residents and tourists staying in Machrihanish with a restriction on HGVs going to and from the site between 7pm and 8am.

The application highlights the creation of 10 jobs. The creation of these jobs should not be viewed in isolation.

There should also be consideration of any adverse impact on tourism jobs which currently exist and of any future potential tourism jobs. Currently the largest employer by sector in Machrihanish is tourism.

At the holiday park we employ six staff and there are also scores of people being employed by the Ugadale hotel, Old Clubhouse Pub, golf course and numerous other accommodation providers in Machrihanish.

There should be an assessment to determine if the proposed development of a beauty spot which attracts tourists and the associated traffic to and from this site would impact on tourism jobs and the future growth of this sector.

Visitors want and need areas to go walking and explore. The Gauldrons offers this with its unique landscape.

If the proposed development is to go ahead consideration should be given as to how it can be established in the most sympathetic way to its surroundings.

It could be of benefit to put in place a man made dunes system to mask the bulk of the development and for there to be planting as part of any planning agreement.

Machrihanish benefits from having a blue flag beach attracting visitors and reassuring them that the bathing water is safe and the beach clean.

This is currently one of the most popular surfing beaches in the UK. We note that the development has a treatment outlet in Machrihanish Bay.

Our preference would be for this to be located at Lossit point so as not to potentially affect any future Blue Flag assessment.

If the new site is approved consideration should be given to how it can be embedded into its surroundings as best as possible so that tourists and residents still want to visit the Gauldrens.

John Aitken,

Machrihanish Holiday Park.