PROTECT HORGABOST TOWNSHIP/ISLE OF HARRIS
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18,000 LITRE CHEMICAL TREATMENT DISPOSAL POINT APPROVED ON HORGABOST BEACH!
IF HARRIS IS DEAR TO YOUR HEART AND YOU HAVE EVER ENJOYED HORGABOST BEACH AND THE SURROUNDING AREA, THEN PLEASE HELP US TO PRESERVE IT'S STUNNING BEAUTY ,SO THAT WE ALL MAY CONTINUE TO DO SO FOR MANY YEARS TO COME
Horgabost has always been welcoming of its season visitors, and we hope it always will; however it is no secret that increasing numbers are proving to be a problem in much of the Highlands and islands and Harris is no exception.
Sensitive beauty spots such as Horgabost are proving to be particularly susceptible to being overburdened by the large flux of people in the summer months, and steps must be taken to ensure that the area is valued, protected and PROPERLY managed. We need your support, as our wider community ,to pull together to ensure that sensible management decisions are made, and a tailored solution for the seaward side road at Horgabost be found-BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!
The recent approval of a planning application to install an 18,000-LITRE CHEMICAL TOILET DISPOSAL POINT, in addition to an UNDERGROUND HOLDING TANK and associated infrastructure( BINS,FENCING AND GRAVEL HARD-STANDING)on Horgabost machair has been a cause of alarm for many! The application, which residents only found out by chance, drew more than 20 objections and goes against the Comhairle's own recently adopted policy on campsites-Yet Still was granted.
It is no surprise that a number of us who have known and loved the village for much -if not all-of our lives are devastated at the thought of Horgabost machair being treated as a second class location and USED AS A DUMPING GROUND. The beautiful machair adjacent to one of West Harris's MOST ICONIC BEACHESis hardly the location for such a facility, and there are many less conspicuous and eminently more suitable locations which should be considered first.
There is no doubt that the proposed facility would be detrimental to the environment and is out of all proportion to the village of Horgabost. It is inevitable that this additional pressure would further degrade the landscape,machair grazing and dune systems, and it goes without saying that there would be an increase in the volume of visitor traffic -with a large number of caravans and motorhomes heading to Horgabost beach to dispose of their waste.
Another cause of concern is the fact that the existing toilet and shower facilities, which hav been in use for many years, have not been approved by the Scottish Environmental protection agency. These shipping containers(created as toilets and showers) are in CLOSE proximity to the RIVER and there is often a SMELL OF EFFLUENT in peak camping season-complaints about this have not been acknowledged, far less addressed by the Comhairles Planning department.
The consistent degradation of the machair affects the quality of life for Horagbost residents who rightly deserve better attention to their concerns from the West Harris Trust. Likewise visitors who love and visit this area do so for it's beauty and not to view an 18'000 litre chemical toilet in the area they love to camp and view a stream of campervans and caravans disposing of their effluent on Horgabost beach. Unfortunately there is no democratic way of protecting the interests of the village in a voting situation, as the number of people outwith the village will always be much greater-and other people are always happy to vote for unsightly things to be kept away from their own doorsteps. The outcome is that they end up in Horgabost.
Another major cause for concern is the fact that Community members are rarely consulted on development issues. recent examples of this include:
The proposal for the 18,000 litre chemical disposal point.
The machair being used for the storage of empty caravans over the summer months
The abandonment of a discarded and broken pontoon on the machair since the autumn of 2017
Various businesses basing themselves on the machair without permissions
Travelling circus vehicles parking on the machair
A burger van operating without planning permission.(West harris Trust minutes erroneously state that planning permission is not required for this business. CNES planning has confirmed otherwise.
"Hard" river protection works taking place without consultation or permission.
We Need your HELP in the environmental appreciation and PROTECTION of Horgabost! We are sure that our visitors to Horgabost beach would want to be positively contributing to Harris and not be a part of the environmental damage to an area they clearly love to visit and which is held deep in the hearts of those who are fortunate enough to have been here.
We would like to see that any West Harris Trust conservation management plan is directed by an island-wide strategic plan, which not only serves the people of Harris but also safeguards the natural beauty of this area. We URGENTLY need your help to ensure that this chemical toilet disposal point and underground holding tank does NOT GO AHEAD!
IF HARRIS IS DEAR TO YOUR HEART AND YOU HAVE EVER ENJOYED HORGABOST BEACH AND THE SURROUNDING AREA, THEN PLEASE HELP US TO PRESERVE IT'S STUNNING BEAUTY ,SO THAT WE ALL MAY CONTINUE TO DO SO FOR MANY YEARS TO COME!
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