Com­mu­nity coun­cil ob­jects to Achn­abobane at­trac­tion

The Oban Times - - News -

PLANS for a £2 mil­lion gar­den centre and vis­i­tor at­trac­tion at Achn­abobane have been ve­toed by Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge and Ach­nacarry Com­muntiy Coun­cil, writes El­lie Forbes.

The coun­cil ob­jected to the plans for a pet­ting zoo, gar­den centre and restau­rant on land just off the A82 by Achn­abobane res­i­dent Ross MacGre­gor when it met on Tues­day Au­gust 1.

Mr MacGre­gor had in­tended to at­tend the meet­ing with his plan­ning team, who were trav­el­ling from Ed­in­burgh, but called off at the last minute af­ter the death of a close friend who lived on his farm left him ‘dev­as­tated and heart­bro­ken’.

The com­mu­nity coun­cil unan­i­mously ob­jected to the plans for var­i­ous rea­sons, in­clud­ing con­cerns about ac­cess to the site from the A82.

Com­mu­nity coun­cil­lors said ac­cess to the sin­gle track road from the A82 would need a feeder lane, in and out, with com­mu­nity coun­cil chair­man John Fotherigham say­ing Trans­port Scot­land would not ‘pay a penny’ for these im­prove­ments.

In its ob­jec­tion the com­mu­nity coun­cil said: ‘The ap­pli­cant has failed to in­clude any in­for­ma­tion to en­able us to con­sider the likely on and off site trans­port im­pli­ca­tions.

‘Given the an­tic­i­pated vis­i­tor num­bers, the traf­fic gen­er­ated was likely to in­volve an ad­di­tional 15,000 to 30,000 move­ments in and out of the site along the A82 and onto a sin­gle track, un­clas­si­fied road.

‘The en­trance to Achn­abobane is at the top of a rise and the A82 speed limit at this point is 60mph.

‘The vol­ume of traf­fic turn­ing into the un­clas­si­fied road would con­sti­tute a sig­nif­i­cant risk to other road users.’ Speak­ing to the Lochaber

Times, Mr MacGre­gor re­but­ted the claims, stat­ing Achn­abobane res­i­dents ‘ didn’t need to have reser­va­tions’ as traf­fic turn­ing into the site from the A82 would only be go­ing 10 yards up the sin­gle track road be­fore turn­ing off.

He said: ‘The House of Bruar and The Green Welly Stop are hugely suc­cess­ful vis­i­tors at­trac­tions, both of which are sit­u­ated on ex­tremely busy roads. Our adopted road at Achn­abobane is of ex­tremely high stan­dard and cars would only be go­ing 10 yards up that road be­fore turn­ing off into the vis­i­tor at­trac­tion – no where near the houses in Achn­abobane.

‘We wel­come any com­ments from Trans­port Scot­land and want to work with the com­mu­nity to ad­dress con­cerns.’

Mr MacGre­gor added this would be a good op­por­tu­nity to in­stall a bus stop to en­cour­age peo­ple to take pub­lic trans­port to the site.

He said: ‘I think the com­mu­nity coun­cil is be­ing short sighted. We are not look­ing to cre­ate some­thing new but ex­pand what is al­ready here, cre­at­ing jobs and a place where fam­ily and vis­i­tors can go.’

The com­mu­nity coun­cil also noted the pro­posed site is not in the West High­land and Is­lands lo­cal de­vel­op­ment plan as a set­tle­ment or ear­marked for growth.

Mr MacGre­gor con­firmed they are in the process of try­ing to get the site on the de­vel­op­ment plan.

Pho­to­graph: Iain Fer­gu­son, The Write Im­age.

Ross MacGre­gor feeds An­gus the young bull and calf, Char­lie.

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