Wednesday, 10 February 2010


That is, in a word, how Comhairle nan Eilean Siar must be feeling right now. Plans to upgrade Stornoway Town Hall running into mounting opposition, including from within its own authority (see two posts back). And a few days ago, its plans to fill in part of the Inner Harbour at Stornoway were rejected by Stornoway Port Authority on grounds that did not seem unreasonable to me. The rejection was not taken lying down; on the contrary, the reaction from councillors was one of unmitigated fury.

I am reasonably familiar with the problems posed by water getting too close for comfort. As such, it would appear to me that filling in the upper reaches of the Inner Harbour would have been asking for trouble. Anyone who knows our town in winter, will be familiar with the problems posed by flooding at times of high tide and / or high winds. North Beach, Cromwell Street and Bayhead properties can be seen lined with sandbags at such time, and still people end up with wet feet. If you take space away from the water to go to, it will go somewhere else. Like onto the streets of Stornoway.

Perhaps the Town Fathers should go to the oil barons to ask for a contribution towards cleaning up the mess left behind at the Maclennan's Oilyard on North Beach. This is due to be converted to a carpark (and that's what this whole saga is about, carparking space).


  1. Don't officials speak with each other "off the cuff" before going public with the big guns? Seems like a classic territorial battle ("Mine's bigger than yours"). Is the part planned for refill the creek which is directly below Lewis Castle? If so your analysis looks watertight, Arnish.

  2. The Comhairle's Planning Officers have shot up in my estimation by proving they are NOT toadies to their political masters- "Elected Members" but how many are actually elected -the vast majority are returned unopposed. These Planning Staff will now have to run the gauntlet of overt and worse still covert victimisation. BUT what's the bet the "Full Council" will bulldoze it through next week and over turn their own Planning Depts decision. It stinks the Comhairle is Judge and Jury. When a Local Authority makes a Planning Application - the same Local Authority should NOT be the determining Authority, the matter should be sent to another LA for an Independent decision.

  3. Observer,
    I agree with you on at least the point that the planning authority should be a different one from the one making the final decision. It's called: a conflict of interests. Small wonder they're in such a pickle.