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Setback for planned £3million marina in Lochaber

The proposed marina at Corpach near Fort William
The proposed marina at Corpach near Fort William

Ambitious plans for a £3million marina at the southern end of the Caledonian Canal have suffered another setback.

The working group behind the Thomas Telford Corpach Marina project has withdrawn its planning application for the scheme for technical reasons.

But it is determined that it will be resubmitted as soon as possible.

It is also going through the application process for a Marine Scotland Licence for permission for the proposed development at Corpach in Lochaber.

Working group chairman Douglas MacDiarmid said: “We submitted our planning application a couple of weeks ago, but the planning authority said there were two or three technical issues that needed to be addressed.

“We have withdrawn it and are well advanced with addressing these issues.

“We are hoping to get it back in as quickly as possible.”

The initial vision was for 80 pontoon berths and it was hoped the project would be commissioned by the end of this year.

However, the findings of a number of studies meant plans for the proposed marina had to be changed.

The number of berths has been reduced and it has been moved out into deeper water because there was a lot more silt and rock in the foreshore than was envisaged.

It was also originally intended that a new services block would be built, but local concerns about the scale of the development, have led to plans to use existing canal buildings for this purpose.

The planning application that has just been withdrawn was for a marina with 40 large berths, a launching slipway and car park and change of use of the canal buildings.

Mr MacDiarmid said their plans also included an additional 10 berths for smaller boats.

He said: “The site we have in Corpach is one we need to tackle carefully.

“It has got the railway level crossing nearby and Historic Scotland interest because of the canal mouth.

“But we are still on course and keen to deliver the project.”

He added that they were now hoping the marina could be commissioned before the end of next year.

The group is holding a consultation event for its Marine Scotland Licence application at Kilmallie Community Hall, Corpach, on Thursday October 6 from 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

Meanwhile, it is applying for Leader funding for assistance with securing project management services and exploring potential sources for capital funding for the marina.

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