1,000 back campaign to ‘save Rhu Bay’

An appeal to save Rhu Bay from commercial development has already achieved 1,000 supporters – with a week still to go.

Campaigners say local support against commercial infill has received overwhelming support from the community.

Rhu resident and campaign member Alastair Moore, said: ”As our teams are going around our village we are finding that not one local resident has so far said that they want commercial infill of part of our beautiful bay.

“Not one resident has said that they want tall apartment blocks or a tall three-storey hotel built on Rhu Bay.”

A total of 1000 people have signed up in support of the campaign by emailing their name and postcode to save_our_rhu_bay@yahoo.com or signing petition sheets.

The campaigners say sailing tourism in Scotland is worth about £300m annually, with sailing in the Clyde worth something like £44m to the local economy.

They argue that the community could benefit from by expanding marina-related facilities on the present site, which if carried out sensitively ‘could be of huge economic benefit to local businesses’.

Instead, they say, the masterplan drawn up by Rhu Marina Developments Ltd and the Crown Estate actually proposes to reduce the opportunity for marina-based activities, and many residents are shocked that the developer has only now revealed the extent of the proposed infill , with the length of the site being increased by 50%.

The masterplan for the site will be decided by councillors who sit on the planning, protective services and licensing committee, but residents claim the officials’ report makes no reference to Local Plan clauses that the masterplan violates.

A public hearing is set for next Tuesday (August 27) at 10:15 am in the Rhu Community Hall; the campaigners say that papers just released in advance of that meeting have for the first time revealed the extent of the masterplan that proposes commercial infill.

“We have been trying for months to find out exactly how much of the plan comes from commercial infill,” said a spokesman.

“Only now, just a week before the hearing we get the detail from the hearing papers.

“We estimate that the proposed commercial infill increases the present marina site’s length and contact with the A814 by about 50%, the masterplan would dedicate approximately two thirds of the total site to housing, hotel and non-marina related development and marina-based facilities would be squeezed into only one third of the total site.”

How it could - the masterplan's vision for Rhu Marina
How it could – the masterplan’s vision for Rhu Marina