District News, February 12 2021

Ardminish Stores on Gigha is one of shops to benefit from the funding.
Ardminish Stores on Gigha is one of shops to benefit from the funding.

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Shops awarded funding for single-use packaging

A new shopping scheme aimed at dramatically reducing waste from single-use items on Scotland’s islands has awarded more than £250,000 to 20 retailers, including one each on Gigha and Islay.

Grants provided by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund will allow shops from 12 Scottish islands to take the next steps in the war on waste by introducing shoppers to more reusable options.

In addition to seeing waste frequently washing up on the shores around them, island communities bear the double burden of dealing with imported single-use items then shipping off the waste.

The Islands Green Recovery Programme (IGRP) Refill Fund will provide dispensing and other equipment that enables customers to obtain grocery products in reusable containers brought from home.

Western Isles retailers benefiting from the funding include: Ardminish Stores, Gigha; Campbells of Islay Limited; Essence of Harris; Sandwick Bay Candles Limited, Stornoway; Carbost Community Shop CIC, Rankins Supermarket, The Selkie Collective, Sleat Community Trading Company Limited, Armadale Stores, Glendale Shop and PO, all Isle of Skye; Raasay Community Stores; Isle of Eigg Shop; Bùth Bharraigh, Isle of Barra; Lismore Stores; Isle of Arran Brewery; Arran Ice Cream and Taste of Arran.

Joe Teale, proprietor of Ardminish Stores, said: ‘We are very pleased to have received the IGRP funding. It will allow us to create a dispensing area for a range of dried food, oils and vinegar.

‘We have no access to blue bin pick-ups on Gigha so our recycling goes out in plastic bags which often get blown around and create even more mess. If we can help even a little bit to lessen the amount of plastic used, we will. This will add to community efforts to reduce the large amount of single-use plastic.’

The scheme is part of a £2 million programme to inspire locally-led green projects as part of the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The IGRP Refill Fund is part of Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which will invest £73 million in circular economy and resource efficiency projects, thanks to support from the European Regional Development Fund.


Primary school to get £250,000 makeover

An Islay primary school is awaiting a makeover after council planning chiefs raised no objections to a proposed new building.

Port Charlotte Primary School is the subject of plans worth about £250,000 to demolish a building and construct a replacement extension, as well as other works.

Argyll and Bute Council is behind the application and, because of the nature of the plans, it is listed under community planning and development.

No objections have been raised by the public and the authority declared last week that it had no concerns about the proposal either.

A council planning officer said: ‘The school and its grounds are within the key rural settlement of Port Charlotte and its conservation area as both are defined in the Local Development Plan [LDP].

‘Policy LDP DM1 gives encouragement to development up to a medium scale on an appropriate site. As the site is already for educational use the site is appropriate.

‘The smaller building to the rear of the site is to be taken down/demolished and a method statement to inform the detailed plans for this work is included with the received drawings.

‘The main building to the south of the 0.3-hectare site will receive internal modifications and access and roof alterations.

‘Extension of the envelope of the building will be minimal and will retain the overall footprint around the 600-square-metre mark as required of a medium sized development.

‘No height increase is proposed and external materials will be upgraded consistent with the existing and its purpose as a school building.

‘The site has limited visibility within the conservation area and the materials are not deemed to be out of character with the streetscape or significant local buildings.’

The officer concluded: ‘By reason of relatively small-scale and non-invasive nature within the curtilage of the school and to the rear of the main building, it is considered that the proposed development does not give rise to any issues which would require prior approval.’