Ambitious plans which will breathe new life into Arbroath harbour have been backed by councillors.
Pontoons in the outer harbour to bolster the success of busy inner marina berths are part of the plans, and members of Angus Council’s communities committee have also agreed the release of vacant storage units in the Black Shed for rental to craft users.
However, Arbroath West and Letham Independent councillor David Fairweather expressed disappointment that the raft of proposals have not paved the way for the re-opening of the public ramp on to the beach at Inchcape following the “hullabaloo” a few years ago to have it put in place.
At their latest meeting, councillors were asked to note the decision made by the Arbroath harbour joint consultative committee regarding the reopening of the ramp.
The cost to bring the ramp back into use was estimated at £9,000, with a further £3,000 annual cost to keep the head of the ramps clear of coastal and tidal debris.
It was considered the demand for the ramp since its closure in April 2017 was insufficient to justify reinstatement.
Mr Fairweather said he was “rather disappointed” with the decision.
“There was a lot of hullabaloo a few years ago to get the slip way,” he said.
“All I ask is that, over the summer period, if there is a demand for it, can this be looked at again?
“If there is a demand there then it needs to be put back to committee,” he said.
The joint consultative committee reported interest has been expressed from local craft users for renting vacant storage units in the Black Shed, on the east quay between the inner and outer basins.
The building is owned by Angus Council and was previously leased to the Arbroath Fishermen’s Association.
In recent years the 22 units have been let separately by the council. The shed was refurbished in 2005 and four units are currently vacant.
The communities committee backed a recommendation that marketing of the units outside the historic harbour users should be considered.
Progress made in submitting a funding bid to the North East of Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group (NESFLAG) for European and Maritime Fisheries Fund monies to construct pontoons in the outer harbour was also outlined.
Three combinations of layout have been priced by contractors and were included in the funding application submitted by the January 7 deadline.
Layout options will be consulted on with harbour users.
Members of the communities committee agreed to the proposed use of part of the Arbroath Harbour Reserve Fund as match funding for the bid to construct the pontoons.