Crown warns Kilchattan Bay mooring holders

Having won their long-running battle for payment from mooring holders in Port Bannatyne, the Crown Estate Commissioners are now turning their gaze on unlicensed moorings in another part of Bute.

Warning notices have been placed on unlicensed moorings in Kilchattan Bay following an inspection which took place on October 5.

Holders of unlicensed moorings have been advised to contact Bidwells, the Crown Estate Commissioners’ managers in Scotland, to obtain a license, and warned that moorings which remain unlicensed are likely to be removed by the Commissioners without further notice.

Kilchattan Bay resident Neil Lamb, who held a mooring in the bay until a few months ago, told The Buteman he understood that most of the moorings in the area had been the responsibility of St Blane’s Hotel, which closed at the end of 2011.

Mr Lamb said: “My worry is that those moorings have not been maintained since the hotel closed, and that the owner of a nice big yacht might tie up on one of those moorings, head to Kingarth Hotel for a meal and come back to discover something has happened to their yacht.”

The battle over the right to charge for moorings in Kames Bay, off Port Bannatyne, was based on the terms of the Charter of Confirmation to the Royal Burgh of Rothesay, granted in 1584, which established the waters around Bute as a “free port”.

But after a hearing at the Court of Session in Edinburgh in November 2009, Lord Uist decided the definition of “free” did not include the right to lay a mooring on Crown land without charge.