Peaceful solution found for Portgordon boat owners

Boat owners at Portgordon will be allowed to keep their vessels moored by the pier through the winter as consultations are held over the future of the harbour.

Harbour owners the Crown Estate had ordered the boat owners to quit the harbour to allow repairs to be carried out on the damaged sea wall following storms in December last year.

However, a packed meeting in the village on Tuesday were told that the boats could remain safely moored on the shingle by the harbour for the time being.

The Crown Estate had ordered the boats out as they feared for the safety of harbour users during the repair work, but when local boat owner John Dunbar asked if a compromise of allowing boats to be moored on the shingle by the harbour might be possible.

The rural and portfolio manager for the Crown Estate, Alan Laidlaw, responded by saying that was possible provided it did not impede repair works.

He added: “I will look stupid if I come in here in January and it turned out that no work has been done because there is a load of boats in the way – but I don’t have major concerns about that.”

Mr Laidlaw did make it clear, however, that in the future berthing fees for boats in the harbour would be considered.

He said: “It was good to hear local views and I think the consultation will help gather all the different views to make sure that we have a workable solution to put forward and make sure the right partners are involved in that.

“We have to make sure the structure is safe and look at what works – and the liability issues.

“It is about looking at solutions for problems on the ground, I think that is the start of a deeper process and the key for us to get engagement from the local community.”

Work is already under way to find the exact nature or repairs required with a decision on who will carry out the work on the pier due by the end of this week.

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