Arran Banner letters – week 48

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True cost of alcohol

Sir,

At last the Scottish Government’s Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) for alcohol will be law and I hope it will be effective.

But it would appear there is going to be another cost, this time to Arran’s environment, with the Isle of Arran Distillery’s proposal to discharge untreated distillery effluent and trade effluent directly into the sea around Arran’s coast.

They propose to do this next to Lennymor, which is a designated as a National Scenic Area (NSA). Into this NSA it is proposed to build a pumping station the size of a domestic garage, whose diesel generator will be running up to six hours a day to discharge two 30,000 litre tankers (60,000 litres per day) which will be parked next to the pump house.

The proposed hardcore turning area for the tankers is of a size that will easily accommodate the 15 to 20 campervans which it will inevitably attract. The effluent volume applied to be discharged is just over 20 million litres per year. This is an annual equivalent to one and a half times the domestic waste of the village of Lochranza into this pristine environment.

Surely this project should be ‘called in’ by the Scottish Government to re-examine this proposal and once again look at the minimum price Arran’s environment should pay before this ill considered project industrialises one of Arran’s last accessible wilderness areas forever.

Yours,

Donald Mackelvie Macneish

Lamlash

Double the discharge 

Sir,

Why is it that everyone else is supposed to be looking after our seashore, but Arran Distillery are given a free hand to pump their effluent straight into the sea by local planners.

The castle spit in Lochranza is already coated regularly in scum, which makes the gravel shore dirty and difficult to walk and being one of our main tourist attractions, it doesn’t go down well.

Who is being paid to monitor our beach anyway? There are times when it’s possible to shovel the scum off the surface of the water on a rising tide. Could this possibly be coming from material already being spread on the land and being washed into our rivers?

Unlike further up the west foast we have very little tidal movement, 1-2 knots compared to, for example, sea areas around Islay and Jura having 7-8 knots .

With plans for another distillery to be built at the south of the Island, does that mean further effluent will be brought to the northend to be disposed of, potentially doubling the amount discharged to 120,000 liters per day?

Another beauty spot ruined, what next?

Yours,

Innes Murchie

Lochranza

What a farce!

Sir,

Your article on the new ferry, together with the letters’ page, made interesting reading in last week’s Banner.

Following that came the  failure of the Caledonian Isles to sail for most of Friday, and the apparently mixed messages issued about the likelihood or otherwise of any service that day, and one can only say: ‘what a farce!’

Little seems to said in favour of the new terminal at Brodick, while the continuing problem of berthing in Ardrossan remains unaddressed by port authorities, and indeed, CalMac, whose new ship for the service is even bigger than the present one, and which may find entering Ardrossan harbour even more problematic.

Will this new larger ferry also have to take refuge overnight in Brodick every time winds gust above 30 knots, which is hardly exceptionally strong? It looks as though Arran will continue to be served by ships and ports, not to mention a ferry operator, which are not fit for the purpose.

And its coming into service will be delayed by mistakes/problems while it was being built – yet more incompetence!

I understand that much is being made of the new environmentally friendly feeling of the new ferry, but I have read that there is no facility in Scotland to provide/produce this new fuel, so there will be more air pollution involved in road tankers bring the fuel to Ardrossan.

One wonders if things could be any worse!

Yours,

Douglas Hamilton

Lamlash

Seas not for sale

In response to last week’s article entitled: ‘Seas around Arran are not for sale’, I support Arran constituents who are concerned about the potential expansion of St Molio’s fish farm in Lamlash Bay. As accurately reported last week, I am opposed to such an expansion, as is Patricia Gibson MP. We have both written to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and Roseanna Cunningham MSP, cabinet secretary for environment, climate change and land reform to make our position clear.

However, I was surprised by some of the content and the tone of last week’s article. Given that such an application has not yet been received by SEPA, I think it is inappropriate and misguided to call on anyone to consult on an application which does not yet exist.

I was particularly concerned to read that: ‘…participants could not understand how the same Scottish government that recognised in 2016 how special Arran’s waters and sea-beds were – by enforcing a Marine Protected Area with seagrass meadows and maerl beds – is now considering allowing 1,000 tons of salmon sewage, including toxic chemicals, to go into Lamlash Bay untreated.’

The Scottish government is categorically not considering the above, because there has been no new application received and they have not yet been given the opportunity to consider the matter one way or another.

To monitor whether are not an application has been made, you can visit the following SEPA webpage: https://www.sepa.org.uk/regulations/consultations/advertised-applications-under-car/

Of course, if the Scottish Salmon Company does lodge an application, any islander can make representations to SEPA in writing within 28 days, and at such time I would encourage everyone with an interest in this issue to make their views known.

Yours,

Kenneth Gibson MSP

Cunningham North

Adopt a box for Christmas

Sir,

Well in truth adopt a box for the year!

If you have an empty corner in your garage or space in your attic, why not adopt a box for ArCaS? We are looking for help with storing donations of Christmas decorations which we are given throughout the year – strangely tinsel not so much a big seller in July!

So why not sign up for a box at our Christmas fayre on Saturday December 2 at Brodick Hall? In return you will be rewarded in the very best way, with tea and cake. Oh, and of course in the New Year you will get a box!

With thanks for our constant island support.

Yours,

Lisa Remington

Shop manager

Arran Cancer Support Trust (ArCaS)

Banner thanks

Sir,

As chairman of Arran Churches Together I wish to register our appreciation of how, over the years, your paper has printed week by week notification of times of worship in all our island churches free of charge. Please accept our sincere thanks.

Yours,

Rev Ben van Rensburg

ACT chairman

 

 

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