Arran Banner letters – week 10

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School bully


I don’t live on the island of Arran, but have visited on holiday for 12 years and love the place. It seems rude to impose my views with too much force on islanders from my home on the mainland.

Yet in two recent editions of the Arran Banner, I have read some overly forceful words, ultimately emanating from the millionaire property developers of the McLaren Hotel, who are based at Kings Lynn in East Anglia.

In the Banner dated February 16, an ominous public notice relating to a request by developers Mr Fowler and Mr Metcalf resulted in the Lands Tribunal emphasising a disturbing warning to locals on Arran who might want to object about plans for the McLaren site: ‘Anyone considering opposing this application may well be advised to seek appropriate legal advice.’

And Arran residents should be right to worry if they had wanted to voice their opinion about these wealthy developers and their handsomely profitable bathroom-manufacturing company. The public notice went on worryingly: ‘The Tribunal will quite often have to decide who should meet the expense of the proceedings.’

Does this mean that if highly paid lawyers and advocates representing these off-island developers are brought in, local people will be forced with a court ruling to pay the Norfolk developer’s costs, at the going rate of £1,000 per advocate, per day?

Then my jaw dropped to the basement at reading the words attributed to the Norfolk millionaires in the Banner. I quote from the front page of February 23 edition … The Abode Group says that if its application is granted it will ‘undertake not to object to the breaking of the title conditions by its immediate neighbours’ – Brodick Co-op and Arran Active/Bilslands.

Is it just me, or does that border on something deeply unpleasant? In other words: give us our multi-million, four-storey, over-developed site permission or we will dob the neighbours in to the rozzers and cause a big stink! Maybe even get your Co-op closed down?

Mr Fowler and Mr Metcalf from Norfolk, it that is your attitude, you really do not understand Arran folk very well. I, for one, am tempted to pay the £25 to the Lands Tribunal and to object to your greedy over-development of the hotel. Your tactics have the aroma of a school bully.

Anyone with a legitimate concern who wishes to exercise their democratic right and question your feu breaking should be able to do so without your implied threat costing them thousands of pounds to exercise their democratic rights.


Andrew MacArthur,

Arbroath, Angus.

LNG viability


I have just read an article on stricter emissions for ships’ propulsion systems, including fuel alternatives proposed for hybrid engines, which has been proposed for the new MV Glen Sannox ferry.

Included was LNG and a description of its characteristics. It is cheaper and has greater energy than oil but needs four times more volume for the same range. Also, it is highly inflammable in its gaseous state and has to be stored at very low temperatures. This means that the storage and handling is complex and has a significant effect on ship design, including tank size and location.

For hazard protection, it must be located away from the side and bottom of the ship. The volume ratio (at atmospheric pressure) between natural gas and LNG is 600 to 1. Since LNG can be evaporating or boiling-off while in the tank (due to it being stored at very low temperatures), pressure can build up, therefore a plan is necessary to address this issue.

All ships would also have oil fuel tanks for powering the hybrid engines. At October 2018, there were only 31 LNG bunkering facilities worldwide.

I would be interested to know how LNG will be obtained and stored locally for the new Arran ferry. It could also pose problems for the second ferry presently being built.

As a publicly-owned company, surely it is time for CalMac to give details on the new ferry. No doubt all will be revealed when the compensation claim by Ferguson Marine is resolved.


Robin Gardner,


Signs sense


No one could object to reasonable action that increases safety and reduces risk. However, the signs appearing around the Arran coast do seem to be a bit over the top. Are they a waste of time and taxpayers’ money?

Is there really anyone in the UK who doesn’t know to ring 999 in an emergency, including visitors? The instruction to ‘Ask for the Coastguard’ presumes the emergency is always for their attention but it may well not be.

This seems to be a small part of a much bigger national move to put signs up everywhere, at every opportunity, regardless of cost and the impact on aesthetics.

Common sense is always going to be better than any amount of signs.


David Lang,


Kilmory thanks


I am delighted to announce that the public auction held at the Kilmory Village Hall on Sunday February 17  was huge success.

We managed to raise a wonderful £1,176.50 which will go towards the day to day running and upkeep of the hall. A great big thank you to all who attended and to all of our volunteers who dedicated so much time and effort into ensuring that the event ran smoothly.


Paula McGuire,

Kilmory village hall manager.

One of the emergency signs which has been put up on a waymarker on Arran. No_B10letters01