Kin­tyre to miss out in Ar­gyll and Bute’s na­tional park bid

Campbeltown Courier - - DISTRICTS -

IT SEEMS that Kin­tyre has been ex­cluded from Ar­gyll and Bute coun­cil’s plans to cre­ate Bri­tain’s largest na­tional park.

The coun­cil has cre­ated a plan­ning blueprint with de­tails of a mas­sive con­ser­va­tion area cov­er­ing many of the re­gion’s is­lands, but ne­glect­ing Ar­gyll’s main­land at­trac­tions.

Cov­er­ing more than 6,863km2, the pro­posed park would be Scot­land’s third and largest na­tional park, big­ger than both Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and the Cairn­gorms, which is cur­rently the UK’s largest. Pem­brokeshire Coast Na­tional Park, which cov­ers an area of 620km2 of cliffs, beaches, har­bours and coves, is de­scribed as: ‘Bri­tain’s only fully coastal na­tional park.’

In­cluded in the Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil’s main is­sues re­port, the coastal and marine Ar­gyll and Is­lands Na­tional Park pro­posal is part of a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion seek­ing to ex­plore what could be con­tained in the lo­cal de­vel­op­ment plan, when it is pro­duced, by ask­ing ques­tions about how the next plan would vary from the cur­rent one.

An Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil spokesper­son said: ‘The ques­tions re­lat­ing to a po­ten­tial na­tional park seek views on whether the coun­cil should, or should not, ac­tively ex­plore the po­ten­tial for a na­tional park in the fu­ture.

‘The mapped pro­pos­als are in­dica­tive and we are en­cour­ag­ing pub­lic views on the po­ten­tial ex­tent of any pos­si­ble na­tional park.’

The coun­cil’s pro­posal sug­gests that some of the ben­e­fits of na­tional park sta­tus in­clude bring­ing more visi­tors to re­mote ar­eas, ben­e­fit­ing tourism, gen­er­at­ing a fo­cus on ac­tive con­ser­va­tion man­age­ment and di­rect and in­di­rect em­ploy­ment, but ac­knowl­edges that cost may be a de­ter­rent.

The es­ti­mated cost of cre­at­ing a na­tional park is around £7 mil­lion, and Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil’s doc­u­ment ad­mits that a po­ten­tial neg­a­tive could be: ‘The costly cre­ation of an­other reg­u­la­tory body and the bu­reau­cracy that en­tails.’

A coun­cil spokesper­son added: ‘If the ques­tion about a na­tional park re­ceives a pos­i­tive re­sponse, then part of ac­tively ex­plor­ing the po­ten­tial would in­volve any fi­nan­cial considerations.’

Build­ing devel­op­ments in na­tional parks are re­stricted, so one pos­si­bil­ity is that the coun­cil did not want to limit the in­dus­trial devel­op­ments, such as wind farms and fish farms by sit­ing the na­tional park on the main­land.

Mem­bers of the pub­lic have un­til De­cem­ber 11 to take part in the con­sul­ta­tion, and can ac­cess the on­line forms by vis­it­ing the coun­cil’s web­site.

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A clas­sic yacht in Tober­mory har­bour which would be part of the pro­posed na­tional park.

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Ben More and A’Choich are re­flected in Loch Scridain from Penygheal on the Isle of Mull.

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