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Concerns have been expressed over a timber transport route in Rhu which could be used again later this year.
Members of Rhu and Shandon Community Council (RSCC) have asked questions about the use of Station and Pier Roads in the village for the purpose of timber transport.
Argyll and Bute Council, as roads authority, agreed in 2016 to classify the roads as a consultation route for the purposes of timber transport by HGVs.
The discussion took place at a meeting of the council’s Helensburgh and Lomond Area Committee on Tuesday.
John McGall, community council convener, told the committee: “This route has been an area of significant concern and investigation for several years by the council, Police Scotland and the community council to try and find a solution to a number of hazards.
“RSCC objected to any use of Pier and Station Roads in the interest of road safety as these roads were dangerous, compromised pedestrian safety and are clearly, in our view, unsuitable as a timber haulage route.
“In 2021, after phase one of timber harvesting was completed, we surveyed residents neighbouring the haulage route area and 96% of those who participated fully supported the community council’s objections.”
Mr McGall added that at a meeting last September with the community council, Scottish Forestry, Scottish Woodlands and the Argyll Timber Transport Group, everyone had agreed the local community had legitimate concerns with the current haulage route provided by the council.
He said it had also been agreed in principle that every effort would be made for a new route to both Highlandman’s and Torr Woods and the afforestation of former Letrault and Stuckenduff Farms: “In total 1,400 acres of phased tree felling which is to be carried out in perpetuity.
“We have highlighted the existence of 2014 detailed plans for a haulage route from A818 to a proposed windfarm site east of Highlandman’s Wood which failed to come to fruition, part of which could be used and adopted for this purpose.
“We believe phase two of Highlandman’s Wood harvesting could begin later this year. In light of the foregoing information, can I ask our councillors to ensure that proper communication and consultation with our community will take place in good time prior to any forestry activity?”
He asked for the current Highlandman’s Wood TTMP (Timber Transport Management Plan) to be paused until the conclusion of these recent developments was resolve, in the interest of road safety?”
Cllr Maurice Corry said: “As far as I can be aware, as I came into this halfway through, I will have to talk to the director of (landowners) Gresham House. I think that is what needs to happen and I will undertake now to do that.
“Maybe you can join with me on that, and I will be in touch. I have seen the correspondence.”
Mr McGall said: “I understand the grounds are available and may have to be applied for, but we need to get to Gresham House.”
Cllr Fiona Howard added: “This is another issue where we do need a proper consultation. Things are happening again and again without consultation and we need to get a grip on it.”
‘Significant concern’ over timber transport in Rhu – The Lochside Press
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