Imachar plan

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Just when it looks like the long debate over a timber slipway on the west side of the island is over – along comes another plan.

This time the location is not Machrie but farther up the coast at Imachar. The Forest Commission put a huge amount of effort into the proposal for the Machrie slipway, which they considered the ideal solution to take timber off island from the west coast forests by sea instead of over the trailing timber lorries across The String to Brodick.

But planners disagreed and threw out the plans, which had met stiff opposition. They said the ‘scale, siting, operations and visibility’ of the proposals would have a detrimental impact on landscape; that was contrary to the Local Plan and ruled it was an industrial operation within a rural location.

So how is Imachar any different? For one there would be no need for the timber lorries to repeatedly cross the main road when the barges are being loaded, which was a concern at Machrie.

Secondly, it would be assumed the private plans may not be on the scale of the Commission’s proposals, but we will have to wait and see.

What is clear is that the desire for a west coast timber slipway is not going away.