Hearing fixed for marina plans – after £1 land deals

The masterplan for Rhu Marina will be decided at a public hearing in August, it was confirmed this week.

The proposals by the Crown Estate and Rhu Marina Developments Ltd, revealed here in March, would include a marina, bar/restaurant, ‘sympathetic’ housing development, sailing clubhouse and ‘compact boutique aparthotel’.

The plans are being supported by Argyll and Bute Council planners, although there have been objections by 48 residents, as well as Rhu and Shandon Community Council.

Meanwhile it has emerged that earlier this year four separate parcels of land were sold earlier this year by the Crown Estate to Rhu Marina Developments Ltd – each for £1.

The Crown Estate bought the marina site for £4m in 2008 and since then has invested more than £2m.

A spokesperson confirmed that the areas transferred this year ‘comprise part of the foreshore to the east of the marina and land which is currently used for seasonal boat storage’.

Asked why the land had been sold and the reason for the price, she said: “Whilst we are not able to discuss the details of the sale for commercially confidentiality reasons, we can confirm that the conditions relating to the sale and any subsequent transactions were subject to agreement from the outset.”

Of the masterplan generally, she stated: “Our focus is on securing local authority approval of the masterplan, submitted in conjunction with Rhu Marina Developments Ltd, in order to build on what has already been delivered by our £2.35m investment in upgrading, improving and extending marina facilities.

“The officer’s report notes that the proposed masterplan is fit for purpose in relation to planning policy.”

The spokesperson would not comment on the application by GSS for a temporary building at the site, which will be decided in conjunction with the masterplan, other than stating: “We are generally supportive of business activity in the Rhu and Helensburgh area in their attempts to create employment and strengthen the local economy.”

Details of the council officers’ report are available here.

Rhu Marina timeline

  • April 2008: Crown Estate acquires Rhu Marina for ‘an initial’ £4m; it is to be leased and operated by Quay Marinas Ltd
  • June 2010: £1.4m investment in the site announced by the Crown Estate, covering a breakwater, toilet/shower block and 60 additional berth
  • March 2012: Another £800,000 investment is announced, to replace wooden-decked walkways and pontoons
  • March 19 2013: the Masterplan for the marina site’s future development appears on Argyll and Bute Council’s website
  • March 28, 2013: four parcels of land are sold for £1 each to Rhu Marina Developments Ltd
  • June 2013: Argyll and Bute’s planning, protective services and licensing committee is recommended to approve a masterplan for the site but decides to hold a local hearing.
  • August 27 2013: the hearing will be held in Rhu Community Centre starting at 10.15am.

The Crown Estate’s website states that the property it manages ‘is owned by the Crown but is not the private property of the monarch’. It adds that profits go to the Treasury ‘for the benefit of the nation’.

© The Lochside Press

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Petition and Facebook bid to fight marina development | The Lochside Press

Comments are closed.