Work is progressing well to set up a Harbour Authority that would manage key parts of Oban Bay.
Argyll and Bute Council has received backing overall from stakeholders CMAL (Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited) and Oban Bay Management Group for taking on the role of Statutory Harbour Authority (SHA), and is progressing action to meet legal requirements to do this.
Setting up a SHA follows findings of an independent report into options for putting formal management arrangements in place for the unmanaged section of Oban Bay.
The council is now progressing a formal harbour revision order covering aspects as wide ranging as harbour limits, vessel traffic system, extended oil spill response, work vessel requirements, and public consultation on proposals for the SHA.
The progress update was considered at today’s meeting of the Harbour Board.
Councillor Rory Colville, Chair of the Harbour Board said:
“Oban Bay serves island and mainland communities, and is crucial to tourism, the key economic driver for the area. Setting up a harbour authority will deliver clear and safe operation arrangements in the shortest time possible, and continue the Bay’s development as a resource for Oban’s economic success. Good progress is being made in establishing the harbour authority. I look forward to that continuing.”
The Harbour Board had previously agreed the SHA option, in line with the findings of the independent report, as a first phase in reviewing management of Oban Bay.
There will be a bedding-in period so the new arrangement can be properly monitored. After that time, there will be a further report to the Board on the potential for the future development of a Trust Port which could see the Bay managed by an independent, commercial organisation