A call has gone out to the Crown Estate to be “a little more sensitive” of the needs of local boat owners who have been ordered to quit a Moray harbour by the end of next month.
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead says he will write to the land agency over their plans for Portgordon Harbour after they ordered boat owners to remove their vessels by the end of September.
Concerns were raised over how that decision might affect tourism and the local economy but the Crown Estate insist that the move was required to allow them to carry out repairs on the harbour wall after it had been damaged by storms last winter.
[box] “I feel that the Crown Estate needs to be more sensitive to the needs of boat owners…” – Richard Lochhead MSP[/box]
Local residents were informed in May that repairing the 40-foot section of the harbour would cost up to £400,000. At the time they were also told that the Crown Estate had only recently become aware that they owned the harbour.
Mr Lochhead said: “I feel that the Crown Estate needs to be more sensitive to the needs of boat owners and involve them more in their decision-making over harbour management.
“I will be writing to the chief executive raising the concerns of constituents in Portgordon. The harbour is a really important part of life in the village and I believe that harbours like Portgordon’s need to be managed locally.”
Twenty boats are affected by the quit order and chairman of the Portgordon Harbour group, Lee Brown, last night welcomed the intervention by Mr Lochhead.
The group now plan a meeting on September 23 when they hope that representatives from the Crown Estate and Moray Council will attend.