Project Update – Lochboisdale Regeneration Project
The background work on design and planning is progessing well for the Lochboisdale Regeneration Project. The seabed survey carried out in early 2012 identified soft clay in the seabed where the causeway and breakwaters were designed to be constructed. The final plan therefore has been reconfigured by Fairhurst Engineering Ltd to avoid construction on this material and have now provided a revised design which will see the causeway situated to the south of the channel between Rubha Bhuailte and Gasay and the breakwaters will be constructed to the north. The fisheries pier will remain situated as planned in the detailed design final plan and the pontoons will be situated slightly east of their original location.
This revised design will still provide the required shelter for fishing and leisure vessels and the required draft will still be obtained.
The first round of the procurement process has been completed with stage 2 invitations to tender will be issued shortly.
The Harbour Empowerment Order is currently being progressed and Gillespie Macandrew, Solicitors, are currently liaising with Transport Scotland, Marine Scotland and the statutory consultees such as CMAL, Calmac and the existing users to take this forward.
project of this scale much of the work that is ongoing in the background
*Project Update December 2011*
WA Fairhurst submitted the planning application in May 2011 and planning approval was granted in October 2011. No objections were received to the planning application. We are now working to discharge the planning conditions.
The current funding package consists of HIE – £5.2 million, ERDF – £1.9 million and CnES – £625,000. The application to EFF was not successful and we are currently looking to the Big Lottery’s Growing Community Assets fund for £960,000. We are working with CnES to secure the remainder of the project costs through loan funds.
WA Fairhurst commenced the detailed design work in October 2011. Raeburn Drilling and Geotechnical Ltd carried out ground investigation work on Gasay during October and November. Aspect Marine will carry out the required additional Geophysical Surveying and Seabed Vibrocore sampling once there is a break in the weather.
A consultation event was held in Geirinis Taigh Ceilidh on Thursday 24th November.
The trading company Lochboisdale Development Limited has now been established.
*Project Update 31 March 2011*
Work has commenced on preparing the planning application for the Phase 1 Lochboisdale regeneration project.
Fairhurst and Partners (Glasgow) have been appointed to complete the planning application on behalf of Stòras Uibhist for the project which will be a major development in planning terms.
The planning application will require a complete environmental statement. A major construction project over land and water means the environmental statement will require a range of activities including: Landscape and Visual Impact Appraisal, Otter Survey and Working Method Statement, Marine Ecology Survey, Sediment Transport Review and Water Quality Modelling, Archaeology Survey, Noise and Vibration Assessment, Hydrodynamic Modelling and Costal Processes Study.
Current Meters have been deployed in the area, for the Hydrodynamic Modelling. Meanwhile, landscape architects and ecologists have recently visited the sites to take measurements and undertake walk over surveys.
Major developments in planning are required to under take a 12 week pre-application consultation. This 12 week process is now underway and comments can be returned to Stòras Uibhist or their agents, Fairhurst, until 4th April 2011. Two successful pre-planning consultation meetings were held in the local community on 15th and 24th March 2011.
The preparation of the planning application comes as the project is reaching a crucial phase. The outline design has been completed and the project can now be fixed. The project which will include the building of roads, causeways, a working quay and pontoons for leisure sailing and fisheries, is estimated to cost around £9.5million.
Stòras Uibhist have successfully secured £7.5million in funding towards the project from HIE (£5.1m) CnES (£625k) and ERDF (£1.9m) with applications submitted for the remainder.
The harbour area at Lochboisdale does not adequately meet the demands of existing users, and is sufficiently constrained to prevent any meaningful improvement or expansion of the existing facilities. (view Lochboisdale Harbour Evaluation Oct 2008)
Plans have been in development for a number of years by various local community groups and partnerships to develop the existing harbour area.
In 2006 Storas Uibhist purchased the South Uist Estate with the Lochboisdale regeneration project identified as a key aim of the community buy-out. Work commenced in 2008 to bring forward a proposal for future development.
It is proposed to escape the constraints of the immediate harbour area and provide for existing and future demand in the much larger area in and around the peninsula of Rubha Bhuailt and the island of Gasaigh, to the south and east of the village. (See proposed plans below)
Lochboisdale Regeneration Phase 1
The Lochboisdale Regeneration project vision includes roads, causeways, a new fishing pier, leisure sailing pontoons, a marina service base, a commercial pier for cargo, small cruise liners and off shore renewable boats, a ferry pier and housing. This will ultimately be realised by a range of organisations, businesses, agencies and partnerships. It will be delivered in phases as funds and priorities permit. See Wallace Stone Report 2009
The Phase 1 project has been expanded following feedback from the community and agencies that some of the facilities should be brought in earlier, including the fishing pier. Funding opportunities emerged in 2010 which enabled an enhanced phase 1 project to be developed.
The current Phase 1 Plan covers the enabling works including a road and causeway from the main Lochboisdale village, starting in front of the current tourist information office, reaching round to Gasay Island. A marine leisure pontoon facility will be installed within the area to accommodate local and visiting leisure sailing boats. A fishing pier will be build and a slipway for boat haul.
Future developments including on-shore fishing facilities will be progressed in the near future.
Substantial progress on the project has been made in 2010 with an outline design being finalised and funding applications submitted and approved.
We have held a number of focus group meetings and held on open day in August on the day of the Ben Kenneth hill race. These focus groups and community consultations have shaped the project and identified key areas for development. In March 2010, forty people attended an open meeting with the Chairman of HIE to show support for the project. This meeting was key in securing the support of HIE in delivering the project.
HIE provided funding in May 2010 for further engineering consultancy work. The work was undertaken by Fairhurst consulting and delivered a finalised outline design, detailed costs and a scoping report which has been submitted to planning.
This work formed the basis of the funding application to ERDF and HIE.
In 2010 Storas Uibhist were successful in securing significant funding towards the project:
- £625,000 from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
- £1,800,000 from the European Regional Development Fund
- £5,000,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Further funds will be required to complete the funding package for Phase 1 and work is continuing in the Storas Uibhist office and with partners to secure the necessary funds to reach completion.
Delivering a project such as this is a long process; an outline of the expected timescale is as follows.
It is expected that environmental survey work will commence early in 2011 with the full planning application submitted mid 2011.
A detailed finalised design will be completed during this timeframe also with invitation to tender for the construction issued in late 2011. We expect work to commence on site around spring 2012, completing in spring 2013.
The phase 1 development will be a “major development” in planning terms. As such there will be a mandatory pre-application phase which will include a process of public consultation (12 weeks).
For a definition of a major development here Scottish Government website link:http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/02/10131548/11
A full planning application will be compiled during 2011 and will be submitted along with an environmental statement and public consultation report.
The environmental statement will include reports on survey work undertaken this will include: (non-exhaustive list) design access statement, flood risk assessment, wave study, hydrodynamic modelling, study of costal processes, drainage assessment, marine ecology study, habitat study, archaeology study, detailed ground investigation.
A scoping report was submitted to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar in November 2010 this will provide detailed information from the Statutory consultees including SNH and SEPA.
The Lochboisdale regeneration project is recognised as a key project in terms of its economic, social and community benefits for the Outer Hebrides.
The Phase 1 project will deliver significant benefits for the local community through the removal of barriers to economic growth, increased economic activity, increased population and to strengthen unity in the community. This will in turn lead to raised GDP, raised average wages and reduced out-migration.
The outcomes of the phase 1 project will be:
• Removal of barriers to future investment
• Creation of 1.2km of road, including a causeway.
• Creation of a marine leisure sailing development for local and visiting yachtsmen
• Creation of a fishing pier to service the needs of existing users.
• Facilitation of development land for commercial and business activity
• Facilitation of land for community housing and sites for housing.
• Create opportunity for local businesses to grow and develop by accessing national and international markets
• Provision of the catalyst for future developments, including commercial developments, affordable housing, tourism services, fisheries services and amenities
• Improved viability and sustainability of SnBM
• 120 FTE jobs within the local economy.
- was carried out by Steve Westbrook and this is being used to support the funding applications