THE view from Eyemouth beach changed drastically at the weekend following the erection of a new facility for local fishermen on the Gunsgreen side of the harbour, a development which has proved to be quite a hot topic amongst residents.
Eyemouth Harbour Trust first lodged the application for the 7.4 metre high structure back in August last year and full planning permission was granted on November 22
The trust say notification letters were sent out to local residents prior to the application being officially advertised in ‘The Berwickshire News’ on August 25 and they weren’t aware of any objections.
However, now that the storage unit has gone up, it has proved to be quite a talking point in Eyemouth according to Kevin O’Brien, owner of the Fine Art Gallery in Church Street.
A keen photographer as well as artist, Kevin has become very familiar with the town’s landscape thanks to numerous projects in the past few years and he described the harbour trust structure as “an eyesore.”
“Over one weekend the harbour trust have totally ruined Eyemouth by erecting the biggest and ugliest storage shelter on the harbour ruining the best view the town has,” he fumed.
“Now thanks to these people every single person who comes to Eyemouth on holiday or to visit will see this monstrosity.
“People driving up to the Park Resorts Holiday camp will not be able to miss it. The vista of Eyemouth has been devastated.
“From the fort you get a beautiful panorama of Eyemouth taking in the harbour, the town and the beach. Not anymore, it’s been ruined by this totally ill thought out growth that now dominates the harbour.
“If I were a caravan owner on the holiday park I would sell up and go somewhere else. As a visitor coming to Eyemouth to appreciate the views I would never come back.
“There are several groups trying their damndest to put Eyemouth on the map and make it a nice place for people to visit and live. How do we promote Eyemouth now, ‘latest tourist attraction, come and see the big tent’?”
Kevin said the trust have rubbed salt into residents’ wounds a year on from them introducing parking charges along Harbour Road, but the trust themselves say the new storage development should be of great benefit to local fishermen.
They say the facility - 75 pr cent funded by European Fisheries Fund Port Facilities Scheme and 25 per cent by the trust and fishermen themselves - was built in response to concerns about inappropriate storage of goods around the harbour as well as requests from fishermen for an undercover area to work on gear during bad weather.
Christine Bell, EHT business manager commented: “It remains a key objective of EHT to support its local fishing fleet and this new facility is evidence of that.
“It provides fishermen with a dedicated area to store and maintain fishing gear. At a time when the fishing industry is being squeezed from every angle, EHT has done something to support the local industry and invest in its future.
Trust chairman, Grahame Sinclair added: “Eyemouth Harbour Trust strives to make changes that they believe are for the good of the port and will prove benefits to all stakeholders and the community as a whole.
“This latest development is for the benefit of the Eyemouth fishing fleet and other users of the harbour and is a facility that has been needed for several years.’
Local skipper of fishing vessel ‘Bonaventure’ Brian Blackie, said of the facility: “When most of the boats are ashore, it’s because of bad weather and that’s when we carry out maintenance on gear. The fleet had nowhere else undercover to carry out this work.”