New plans lodged to develop Portgordon beachfront

Portgordon Ice-House centre of development

New plans have been lodged to transform the seafront at Portgordon and provide tourism facilities aimed at regenerating the local beauty spot.

There was controversy when plans by landowner Gemma Campbell were first lodged with Moray Council, prompting the formation of a local campaign group to fight proposals for a small housing development and array of solar panels to sit alongside a new Boatyard facility and a Cafe.

Moray’s MSP, Richard Lochhead, met with campaigners and provided information on how they might instigate a community buyout of land, with Ms Campbell later meeting the MSP and agreeing she would consider such a proposal.

However, at the first public meeting of the Save our Portgordon Beach group last month a consensus over such a scheme could not be reached.

The new plans lodged by Ms Campbell do not include a housing development nor the large array of solar panels.  The proposals have been extensively amended to take account of previous objections, with the new boathouse moved to the western boundary of the site to strengthen connections to the village hall.

Meanwhile the 30-seat Cafe has been made smaller to reduce its footprint and overall impact.  It would be built closer to the historic ice house and including parking for 10 cars.

The planning application highlights “decades of decline” in the village, saying: “In a village that has sadly witnessed several decades of decline of its businesses and services, this proposed level of commercial investment will hopefully send out a vote of confidence for the harbour and the area.”

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