Shipping berthed in the Firth - a feature that tourists enjoy or a noisy and unsightly intrusion?
On Wednesday night in the URC hall Tommy told his River CC colleagues that he had received an e-mail from Ritchie Cunningham. Tommy read out the request he had received here we reproduce most of what was said:
“For the attention of Community Councils in Nairnshire. Nairnshire visitors cannot fail to have noticed the almost constant presence of oil tankers and other vessels off the Nairnshire coast since Easter, indeed for only a few days have we had an uninterrupted view. Such has been an eyesore in what is an important tourist destination and a source of clearly audible noise as well as low frequency nuisance. The prospect of free anchorage here has deterred them from anchoring in the areas where they would have had to pay fees. In other areas of Scotland Port Authority areas often cover the entire Firth. For example
and Forth Port Authority. In the Moray Firth Inverness, Ardersier
and Cromarty are small port authorities with limited boundaries. We aren’t now
seeing a ship just waiting a day or two to enter the Cromarty Firth but empty
tankers for weeks on end – up to six weeks in one tanker’s case, birthing for
free until their job calls them away. I’d like to pursue the possibility of
extending the limits of the Port Authorities in the Clyde Port Moray Firth to take the waters
off Nairn into their ambit. If a Port Authority in
wishes to change their harbour limits they would have to apply to Scottish
ministers though Transport Scotland
for a harbour revision order[...] Do we really want the coast of Nairn blighted
by the constant presence of tankers? Hardly the view that tourists come to see.
Do Nairnshire Community Councils have a view on this issue and are they
prepared to press the Highland Council and our MSPs for action?” Scotland
Graham Vine then said: “I am not a resident of this community council area but my bedroom does overlook the Firth and those boats. It is true that you do sometimes get noise when they are empty, it’s usually very, very low frequency but I can’t it’s ever bugged me and it’s like living in the countryside and looking out over the fields and saying my view is blighted by that tractor.”
Tommy then said that his personal view was that he was living just a 100 yards from the sea shore and he never heard it.
A little later Rosemary Young (Chair of West CC and visiting River’s meeting) said after putting her tourism hat on:
“Can I say something on the behalf of the tourist association? I find all the tourists love looking at the ships and find it quite interesting. I think he has a valid point if there is money to be made, why not? But I’m sure that’s a very difficult process to get into – it’s not our remit I’m sure. We’ve got enough to do without that.”
After a little more discussion Graham Vine asked: “Are we all agreed that the boats are not an eyesore, they are just a feature?”
There was no one that dissented with Graham’s view and the Secretary minuted the result of the discussion.