Taynuilt res­i­dents di­vided over con­cerns about wild camp­ing

The Oban Times - - News -

CAM­PERS around Loch Etive are caus­ing ‘ nui­sance, rub­bish and are break­ing all the rules’, ac­cord­ing to some res­i­dents, writes Louise Glen.

But oth­ers say noth­ing can be done to stop peo­ple park­ing in the pier area overnight and the vil­lage of Taynuilt should be work­ing to be­friend them.

Over the past few weeks peo­ple in Taynuilt have seen a marked in­crease in the num­ber of camper cans, car­a­vans and tents ap­pear­ing on the loch side and the road to­wards the pier.

Res­i­dent Mar­garet McLel­lan said: ‘I thought there was no overnight park­ing per­mit­ted at the far away pier. For at least two nights now there has been a cou­ple of car­a­vans parked there. The ‘No overnight park­ing’ sign has some­how been turned around fac­ing to­ward the river.’ A per­son who stopped The Oban Times re­porter when they were on the scene said the cam­pers caused: ‘nui­sance, rub­bish and are break­ing all the rules’. She did not want to give her name.

A state­ment from Taynuilt Com­mu­nity Coun­cil said: ‘Over the last few years the num­ber of com­plaints re­ceived by Taynuilt Com­mu­nity Coun­cil ( TCC) re­gard­ing is­sues sur­round­ing those stay­ing overnight in the vicin­ity of Taynuilt Pier and the fore­shore be­tween Taynuilt Pier and Kelly’s Pier has risen con­sid­er­ably.

‘Ve­hi­cles such as camper vans park­ing on pri­vate land can only be moved on by the po­lice if a com­plaint is re­ceived from the landowner and the ve­hi­cle owner must be given days to move the ve­hi­cle.

‘Dif­fer­ent of­fi­cers have quoted dif­fer­ent timescales and camper van own­ers know this. The Scot­tish Ac­cess Code gives peo­ple the right to camp in tents, but only if that right is ex­er­cised re­spon­si­bly.

‘Signs can only give in­struc­tions or in­for­ma­tion.

‘En­force­ment, where ap­pro­pri­ate, is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of other au­thor­i­ties who gen­er­ally re­quire com­plaints to act.

‘Com­plaints, in the main, con­tinue to be made to the com­mu­nity coun­cil or on Face­book.

‘Oc­ca­sional re­spon­si­ble use by a camper­van or cam­pers has never been the is­sue, how­ever, it is in­tim­i­dat­ing for visi­tors and lo­cals when en­camp­ments are set up with carpets, ta­bles, chairs, wash­ing lines and gen­er­a­tors.

‘The camper­vans and car­a­van own­ers in ef­fect claim the space for them­selves and ca­sual visi­tors and lo­cals re­port mov­ing on as they are made to feel un­com­fort­able.

‘TCC is willing to con­tinue to try to ad­dress this prob­lem but is cur­rently con­sult­ing with res­i­dents to seek con­cerns and views on how to pro­ceed.

‘Con­struc­tive in­put from visi­tors and camper­van/ car­a­van own­ers is also wel­come.’

Po­lice say they are aware of the is­sues.

Con­cerns have been raised with Taynuilt Com­mu­nity Coun­cil about peo­ple camp­ing at the pier, de­spite coun­cil signs.

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