Luing Causeway

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Nick
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Luing Causeway

Postby Nick » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:11 pm

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Am 'amateur survey' (sic) by Luing's Fixed Link Action Group (FLAG) has determined that it would be easy to put a causeway across Cuan Sound and cheaper than upgrading the ferry link. Argyll and Bute Council are said to be very keen on this solution as it would save them a lot of recurring hassle.

It would certainly make Balvicar a less attractive place to keep a boat - it would add two hours onto any trip North. I don't anticipate inconvenience to local yachtsmen being a major player in the forthcoming discussions though :roll:

(Sorry Steve, posted this in the wrong forum then when I moved it you had already posted on the same subject . . . :oops: )
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Re: Luing Causeway

Postby stevepick » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:30 pm

No Worries :) I don't live there and I can see how the limitations of the ferry may really be hindereing things on Luing. Its would just be sad to lose the great wee trip that Cuan invaraibly is for us, and guests aboard. I can see it affecting Kilmelford to some degree - they stop being "on the way" to anywhere. But could it also provide the possibility of a yacht harbour in the Cuan area?

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Re: Luing Causeway

Postby Telo » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:56 pm

Hadn't realised that had become an issue again - afaik, the council knocked it back a few years ago, although it's no doubt a "recurring hassle", as you suggest.

From a purely selfish point of view, I'd regret the loss of an interesting little bit of sailing pilotage, and I appreciate how you'd feel Nick about the extra passage time from Balvicar. On the other hand I can see the advantages for the people on Luing. I suppose the greenery of tidal power generation makes the proposal more attractive (at least I'm assuming that is part of their case), and may help the causeway cost in as well as making a contribution to carbon emissions reduction.

Also, it would stop posters of this Parish hitting things in the vicinity of the Cleit Rock. I wonder if there any plans to concrete over Teacuis? :oops:

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Re: Luing Causeway

Postby Mark » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:21 pm

Nick wrote:it would be easy to put a causeway across Cuan Sound and cheaper than upgrading the ferry link. Argyll and Bute Council are said to be very keen on this solution as it would save them a lot of recurring hassle.


That would be tragic. Might there be an environmental argument against?

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Nick
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Re: Luing Causeway

Postby Nick » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:58 pm

Shard wrote:Hadn't realised that had become an issue again - afaik, the council knocked it back a few years ago, although it's no doubt a "recurring hassle", as you suggest.

From a purely selfish point of view, I'd regret the loss of an interesting little bit of sailing pilotage, and I appreciate how you'd feel Nick about the extra passage time from Balvicar. On the other hand I can see the advantages for the people on Luing. I suppose the greenery of tidal power generation makes the proposal more attractive (at least I'm assuming that is part of their case), and may help the causeway cost in as well as making a contribution to carbon emissions reduction.

Also, it would stop posters of this Parish hitting things in the vicinity of the Cleit Rock. I wonder if there any plans to concrete over Teacuis? :oops:

No, there are no plans for any tidal generation. The current self-confessed 'amateur' review seems to involve no more than tipping a load of rock into the narrowest point (W. end under the pylons) and throwing some tar on the top. They don't even seem to have considered the cost of building a road out to the causeway from either end - nearly two miles of new road over difficult terrain.

Here's a few other potential problems:

~ Loss of a unique marine environment.
~ Local fishing fleet has much longer journey to fishing grounds.
~ Increased distance for lifeboat to travel in the event of an emergency in the local area East of Seil and Luing
~ Changes in water circulation in Seil and Clachan Sounds with possible effects on water quality / shellfish farming
~ Increased storm surge effect in Balvicar in southerly gales/spring tides with increased risk of flooding
~ Increased tidal flow through Clachan Sound may undermine the 'Atlantic Bridge' and/or cause flooding in Clachan Seil
~ Housebuilding boom on Luing as local landowners cash in wrecks island ambience
~ Massive increase in traffic on Seil - the road is already inadequate for the traffic volume

Of course, it would result in a dramatic increase in property and land prices on Luing - and all those people who have moved to an island but now find it a tad inconvenient would be able to have their cake and eat it.

Heard something interesting on Radio Scotland last week . . . allegedly, 60% of all the people currently living in the countryside have moved there in the last six years from towns and cities. I think they should have to pass a test.
- Nick 8)

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Re: Luing Causeway

Postby claymore » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:03 pm

Wonderful idea
will save thousands in keel repairs and knicker washing
Should have done it years ago
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Re: Luing Causeway

Postby Arghiro » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:16 pm

Nick wrote:
Heard something interesting on Radio Scotland last week . . . allegedly, 60% of all the people currently living in the countryside have moved there in the last six years from towns and cities. I think they should have to pass a test.


I can vouch for that. A rash of "barn conversions" in the last few years has flooded the local single track lanes with a rash of chelsea tractors & dog walkers.

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Re: Luing Causeway

Postby MrMcP » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:20 am

There exists across the whole Cuan sound area an international conservation order which automatically prevents any works which might alter the seabed, or the influence of tidal streams on the seabed, in that area. So this sounds like a badly researched and executed bit of journalism since any application would be knocked down at the earliest stages.

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Re: Luing Causeway

Postby sahona » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:44 am

Glad to hear about the conservation order, from a selfish yotty point of view.
However, could be a reasonable place to dump a suitably marked turbine, without blocking the whole passage off.
I think Nick's concerns over the bridge are well founded. It seems to have survived amazingly well so far, considering the change in traffic since it was designed.
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Re: Luing Causeway

Postby MrMcP » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:58 am

The conservation area extends to include Clachan sound, so any works which alter tidal behaviour in that zone would be equally frowned upon. And as the designation is based on the seabed environment, which is defined by the tidal behaviour throughout that area from Corryvreckan up to Clachan, I would be surprised if tidal generation could be shown to be impact-neutral. However, I guess it's all down to how the case is presented, and how clever the consultants hired by the developers are....


Edit: Here's some info on the conservation area - http://www.southernhebrides.com/firth-o ... ation.html

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Re: Luing Causeway - don't be so sure

Postby Nick » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:32 pm

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Firstly, let us look at who is responsible for themanagement of the SAC. yes, it's Argyll and Bute Council!

Now, while you are correct that civil engineering propoals such as the causeway will come under scrutiny:
Future coastal development related proposals would be subject to the Habitats Regulations. If a development is proposed which is likely to have a significant effect on the conservation interest of the site an appropriate assessment will be required (Appendix III). The necessary consents will only be granted if it can be shown that there will be no impact on the conservation interest of the site.
I'm afraid this doesn't mean very much. Let us turn to the indicated Appendix:
The relevant and competent authority involved should also consult the nature conservation body (Scottish Natural Heritage) and have regard to any representations made by that body. They shall also, if they consider it appropriate, take the opinion of the general public. In the light of the conclusions of the appropriate assessment, the relevant or competent authority shall only agree to the plan or project if it does not adversely affect the integrity of the European site. However, a plan or project could still be carried out after an assessment has shown negative implications within the site if there are no alternatives and there are imperative reasons of overriding public interest - including reasons of a social and economic nature. For priority natural habitats and priority species, plans or projects with negative implications for the site will only be permitted if the imperative reasons of public interest are based on issues of human health or public safety.
As the Council is massively in favour of a fixed link to get the clamouring citizens of Luing, the NHS and the bolshie ferrymen :irony2: off their backs I am pretty sure they will soon find imperative reasons of overriding public interest.

I think it is more likely that this proposal will fail because it has been costed by enthusiastic amateurs who have looked at the cost of tipping a shipload of rock into the Sound and running a road over it. I doubt if they have costed the initial enquiry, the two miles of new approach road and the impact on Seil's existing infrastructure. The idea that this will be cheaper than new ferry slipways seems unlikely to me.
- Nick 8)

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Re: Luing Causeway - don't be so sure

Postby Telo » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:15 pm

Anyway, seems a big project for 179 people, which one gazetteer claims to be the population. Presumably some citizens of Luing live there because they prefer the quiet of an island way of life, albeit one that's only about two minutes passage away from what is effectively the mainland.

Incidentally I've PMed you.

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Re: Luing Causeway

Postby MrMcP » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:16 pm

The telling part of that first quote is:
The necessary consents will only be granted if it can be shown that there will be no impact on the conservation interest of the site.

One call to the body responsible for determining whether that will be the case provides a pretty straightforward answer......

As for the second part, there is an alternative - it exists now and operates just fine - which the Council would have to demonstrate is failing. They would then have to demonstrate that proportionate benefits can only be delivered by means of a causeway, with no alternative. The justification for the cost and impact combined would have to show outlandish benefits to overcome objections or accepted damage to a conservation area.

All IMHO, of course, and I'm as aware as the next person that common sense rarely forms a part of either of the two consultations this would have to pass through.

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Re: Luing Causeway

Postby Bodach na mara » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:46 pm

From a purely personal point of view, I would hate to see a causeway across the sound. We like to take a leisurely approach to the northbound trip from Crinan and on most occasions have stopped overnight in the loch at Shuna or Ardinamour before passing through Cuan.

As someone who has an interest in engineering and alternative energy (where it does not despoil the countryside) I can see that the barrier has attractions. However it seems to be impossible in this country to be able to get any project considered on the basis of co-lateral gain. There are also other considerations against the idea. Nick has mentioned the tide changes that would result, and I am far from happy that any modelling of projected changes would be accurate. Then there is the effect on other roads in the area. The only access is over the bridge at Tigh an Truish, which would also need to be bypassed.

The Herald today carries the first news I had heard of this ill-considered project under a headline stating that a wildlife group is concerned about the harmful effects on dolfins. Sometimes it seems to me as if humans are the last to be considered when some development is held up because of natterjack toads or some such animal, but I speak as someone who has used a "report of bats having been seen in the area" as a part of my objection to a planned development. This was partially succesful in that among the grounds for refusal there was a requirement for a study on the incidence of bats to be conducted before any re-submission of the plans. The developer gave up and went elsewhere.
Ken

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Nick
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Re: Luing Causeway - don't be so sure

Postby Nick » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:58 pm

Shard wrote:Anyway, seems a big project for 179 people, which one gazetteer claims to be the population. Presumably some citizens of Luing live there because they prefer the quiet of an island way of life, albeit one that's only about two minutes passage away from what is effectively the mainland.

Incidentally I've PMed you.


There's far fewer people live on Vatersay . . . it's had a causeway for years.

PM received - looks like we may well be there next Friday if we're spared . . .
- Nick 8)

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