Pier Potential

You wouldn’t think that a strip of concrete and a piece of spare ground covered in old plastic barrels would generate so much interest, but last month we had nearly 60 residents from the village of Taynuilt attend our community drop-in day about Taynuilt Pier!

Taynuilt Consultation DayFor the past few months we have been supporting Taynuilt Community Council to explore options for the regeneration of Taynuilt Pier which together with the surrounding land is a neglected eyesore. The location is stunning, on the coast but with access to beautiful Loch Etive and views to Ben Cruachan.  The pier is currently in private ownership having been used for a mussel farm operation but it’s no longer in use and there is great potential for its improvement for community benefit, both recreational and commercial.

Locals expressed various concerns about the pier and adjacent ground: “There is currently no active control of these areas, resulting in unofficial campsites developing in both the pier car-park and the beach with all the ensuing littering and toilet problems.” This resident’s concerns were repeated by many “littering and mess puts locals off” and “please prevent camper vans overnighting”. There were also concerns about the areas tendency to flood when the nearby river is high and there are spring tides. But local people also very much recognised the value of the area and had lots of suggestions as to how it might be developed: “This is a very underused resource in an outstanding setting”, “provide a board showing the different mountains and a guide to all the birds that can be seen”, “signs for walkers—and maps”, “location for a fast boat pick up and drop off for trips into Loch Etive”, “pontoons for visiting boats”, “provision of toilet block and pay and display car park”, “height barriers to prevent overnight camper vans”, these were just a few of the suggestions made.

TaynuiltAs part of a community questionnaire we had asked whether people supported community purchase of the pier, 65% were in favour, 22% against and 13 % not sure. Naturally there were concerns about maintenance and management: “if these options were viable how they would be policed”, “if purchased what would be the ongoing costs and liabilities”, “careful balance is needed” and “regular servicing and tidying up will be needed”.

The next stage for  us is to analyse the results , liaise with stakeholder groups in relation to planning, safety and biodiversity issues and working with the appointed architect and engineer, prepare a couple of costed realistic layout proposals supported with proposed management models. These can be further debated by the Taynuilt Community Council and locals before the final plan and funding strategy are devised.

This piece of work is being funded through the Argyll and the Isles Leader Programme and the Lottery’s Investing In Ideas fund


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