A Moray coastal community are set to hold discussions with the Crown Estate over a local management agreement for their storm damaged harbour.
In recent weeks a ‘community question’ was posted to 330 homes in Portgordon seeking views on the local harbour, which has been beset by years of neglect exasperated when the harbour wall was severely damaged by storms.
Boat owners using the harbour were earlier this year ordered out by the Crown Estate to allow them to affect repairs on the harbour – sparking fears that they would never be able to return.
In August the Crown Estate made an offer to users that they purchase the harbour for £1 – however, they also warned that repairs would cost in the region of £300,000 to £400,000.
Work on the harbour started in October but has been delayed because of further storm damage, however work is expected to be completed by February.
At the Lampie Hoose in the village on Tuesday residents were told the results of the ‘community question’, which had asked if they wished the harbour to be repaired to a serviceable standard, continue to maintain it in its current state – or abandon the site to landfill.
Villagers heard that 107 forms were returned with the vast majority – 84% – seeking a regeneration of the harbour to a serviceable standard. Such a regeneration would include new pontoons for leisure craft and berths for fishing vessels.
The vote was welcomed by local councillor Margo Howe, who was brought up in the village. She said that local people had shown themselves to be responsive and that they cared about what happened to their harbour.
Further talks are now expected to take place with the Crown Estate over how villagers can be given a greater say on how the harbour is managed in future.