Eyemouth harbour car park to be boat store

THE car park at Eyemouth Harbour that lies between the lifeboat station and the house ‘High Tide’ will in future also be used as a boat store, although its two roles will not take place together - in the summer it will be used as a car park and in the winter it will serve as a boat storage and maintenance yard.

A planning application made by Eyemouth Harbour Trust to Scottish Borders Council initially proposed applying for a change of use from a car park into a boat yard. However, that would have meant that another planning application would have to be made at a later date if the trust wanted to use it as a car park as well. After discussions with the harbour trust and the council’s road user manager a compromise was reached for a planning application to be made for mixed use of the land.

In a report to councillors this week, planning officers said: “It is anticipated that the two uses are to operate on a mutually exclusive basis, ie it will not be possible for the site to be used as both a car park and a boat yard at the same time.

“Instead, the site can be used for storage and maintenance of boats over the winter, and for car parking during the summer.

“It is not for the planning authority to manage these operations, rather, the council in its role as landowner will take on the management and control of these uses of the site.”

One objection to the plan had been submitted claiming that: the number of boats planned for storage appears to be significantly greater than can be accommodated; the site is currently used for storage and repair by some boat owners and rubbish is left behind. They also had concerns about how it would be supervised and the noise created from repairing the boats.

Another point made in the letter of objections is “The land is currently owned by the council but the request comes from the harbour trust, who hope to stop unauthorised use by boat owners and caravans and increase supervision. This aim is laudable. However, it is not clear as to the extent to which the trust has the capacity to monitor the site and its usage.”

Planning officers concluded that the application was acceptable due to the site’s location at a working harbour.

At Monday’s meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s planning and building standards committee councillors approved the application for the mixed use but a number of conditions were attached. Repair and maintenance of boats can only take place between 7.30am-6pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am-5pm on Saturday; the idling/static running of engines on the site is prohibited except for repair and testing; noise levels should be restricted; and a plan of the layout of the boats on the site should be provided.