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Finished seat can’t be used as fencing is still in place

Loch Linnhe
Loch Linnhe

Residents can’t enjoy the benefits of an iconic seat looking out over Loch Linnhe – because there is still a fence round it.

Last July, an access road was built through the green seating area next to the car park at Caol Shopping Centre in Lochaber, to allow buses to take pupils to the new St Columba’s Primary School.

The popular community focal point overlooking the foreshore – which was opened by HRH Princess Anne – has two specially built long stone seats, a large stone fountain as well as various planters.

It is very close to the hearts of local people as the late Dr Su Sen, a popular GP, was very involved in helping to create the project.

One of the seats had to be dismantled in order make way for the new road, but the stones were carefully saved and the community was assured that it would be rebuilt again once the access route had been completed.

Locals say workmen who carried out the rebuilding work on the seat finished it months ago, but no-one can sit on it as the fencing surrounding the stone structure hasn’t been taken down.

Joan Kearney, who works in the nearby Caol Launderette, said: “It has been like this for at least four months. The seat has been rebuilt beautifully but no-one can get near it because of the fencing round about.

“Local people have been asking if there is still work to do on the seat because the fence has been up for so long.

“It’s a shame if it has just been left as no-one can use it at all.”

Caol and Mallaig councillor Ben Thompson, said: “I have been in touch with the contractors who rebuilt the seat several times about removing the fence. It seems they had forgotten about it and I think this is because they are off-site.

“The work rebuilding the stone seat is completely finished, so when the fencing is taken down it can be used again.

“I spoke to the contractors as recently as Friday about this, and have been chasing them for a couple of months now.

“Everyone just wants the fencing to be removed. It has been there long enough.”

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