Editorial

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We don’t want slipway here

The people of Machrie have spoken with almost one voice: ‘We don’t want a timber slipway here.’
They said that more than two years ago, when the proposal was first mooted, and nothing has changed their minds.
For the Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS), it has always been its preferred choice of shipment for felling on the west coast, rather than hauling it over to Brodick and only cheap timber imports from Eastern Europe put it on the back burner.
Now it is back on the table
with a planning application round the corner. But despite months of talks Machrie Improvements Committee is still dead against it and so are residents and businesses.
Their arguments are valid and their voice must be heard during the planning process.
There can be little doubt that one of the biggest concerns – 300 transporter trips across the main A841 weekly – needs to be addressed.
So what happens now? A planning application is expected next month and, if passed, funding has to be obtained from the FCS board. Slipway work could commence the autumn but, more realistically, spring 2018.
If planning permission is not given, or the board does not approve the funds, then the newly refurbished slipway at Brodick remains the status quo.