Work to start on the Airport Business Park

but not until next month.

According to the planning application, work was meant to start on clearing the ground at the airport at Connel on the 3rd of August, but things have still not started. If they do not start by a certain date in September then the whole TIFF finances for all the Lorn Arc projects in Oban, Dunbeg, Connel and Barcaldine are under threat. It is already several years behind schedule.

Work will begin on a new business park at Oban Airport next month – with high value companies linked to the aviation industry given priority.
Argyll and Bute Council is getting its Lorn Arc project under way by building an access road which will serve the new business centre.
As the council prepares to market the site, head of economic development services, Fergus Murray, revealed that a number of businesses have already shown interest.
Lorn Arc is an ambitious plan by the council to invest £18.89million in new infrastructure to attract companies to the area.
The projects include access upgrades at Oban Airport, improved port and marine facilities at Oban and Barcaldine and road widening at Dunbeg.
Mr Murray told the Oban Lorn and the Isles area committee yesterday that the council’s roads and amenities team would begin work on the airport’s access road before the end of September.
A masterplan for the actual business park has been prepared and is still being assessed prior to submission for planning approval.
Mr Murray said: “There are a number of businesses that have declared an interest, but there is also a need to do wider promotion and marketing campaigning for the type of businesses that we want to be in that area.
“Our first focus will be on businesses that complement the activity of the airport, high value type businesses linked to the aviation industry and linked to office-type developments. That is our first focus based upon the quality of the location and that is something we will be testing through market.”
Leader of the Oban Lorn and the Isles area committee, Councillor Roddy McCuish, said: “To have these high value businesses out there is definitely a good thing. But we can’t just concentrate on one type of business. I would hope the masterplan will throw up the need for a variety of businesses.
“The fact many business parks are a success because they are based near an airport is certainly an advantage. This business park is also directly on a main trunk road.
“I will be looking for a variety of businesses in there, but only after consultation with the community and more engagement with the private sector.”

The consultation has been requested by the Community Council on a number of occasions now, but nothing has been forthcoming yet. In fact, the community of Ardchattan has not been consulted at all on the whole Lorn Arc project which includes major works at the MRC site at Barcaldine.

Originally the plans for Barcaldine was to install the Tiree Array support works .. despite significant concerns from many : the Loch is one of our most ecologically sensitive in Scotland; there has been a great deal of development by the local businesses in making this an exceptional marina facility and small enterprise area; the wind farm companies are dubious about using an area that requires access through Connel Bridge; and the navigation of the mouth of Loch Creran can be tricky for commercial vessels (as witnessed when there were foreign commercial fishing boats using in several decades ago – with repeated incidents of boats hitting rocks etc).

It is very much less clear what the Lorn Arc plan is NOW for Barcaldine .. efforts to find out are met with vague responses and more promises of consultation .. that has not happened. Consultation is meant to occur before a decision NOT AFTER .. that is informing .. not consulting.

August 13, 2015   Posted in: Barcaldine, Benderloch, Business, Community

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