Tomorrow Highland Council may find a mechanism to bring the ship to ship oil transfers to full and open debate at the Council. The submission that they put into the process when the first Cromarty Firth Port Authority application went in has been heavily criticised by campaigners and community councils around the Moray Firth. Many thought it was so weak it was more or less a green light to the application.
Tomorrow Highland Council has a chance to redeem itself and give this topic the full and open debate that it demands and deserves and that over 500 people stood on Nairn Central Beach for on Sunday (pictures here). And then there are the thousands that have signed petitions and written letters.
The response to a written question from the Black Isle Councillor Craig Fraser is not encouraging. It amounts to the official Highland Council position but it was probably written before the demonstration on Sunday.
"To the Chair of the Planning, Development & Infrastructure Committee “Will you take the necessary action to ensure that arrangements are made/time allocated/an adequate opportunity is provided for the Council to consider in formal Committee the revised/amended STS oil transfer licence application, which PoCF has reportedly stated will be submitted "early in the New Year"; and to make provision for elected Councillors to review and comment on the Highland Council's updated formal representations on that revised application before they are submitted?”
And the response:
"Response to Mr Fraser A response to the revised application will be presented to a meeting of the Planning, Development & Infrastructure Committee and/or the Ross and Cromarty Committee. If a response is required outwith the Committee cycle, it will be produced by Officers in consultation with Local Members in relevant Wards and the Chair of the Planning, Development & Infrastructure Committee and submitted by the Director of Development and Infrastructure."