Quay company hits out at wreck owner

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THE community company formed to carry out repairs to the old stone quay in the centre of Port Bannatyne has been wound up after the renovation of the structure was completed.

But the directors of the Port Bannatyne Quay Repair Community Interest Company have signed off from their task by hitting out at the owner of the derelict fishing vessel Ocean Queen, which has been languishing at the pier for many years and presented a serious obstacle to the quay improvement work.

The directors named a Mr Jonathan Aitchison of Dumfries as the owner of the vessel, and say that despite repeated requests, no efforts were made to move it.

The directors also say, in a letter we print on page 4 of this week’s issue, that they made an offer to buy and dispose of the wreck as part of the repairs to the quay, but received no response.

The vessel has since been declared a health and safety hazard by Argyll and Bute Council.

“As it continues to lie alongside the quay,” the company directors write, “it now restricts freedom of use of the restored facility by visiting vessels.

“It is our hope that this unsightly wreck will be removed in the near future, so that the restored quay can be fully utilised to the economic benefit of Port Bannatyne.”

Local councillor Robert Macintyre told us: “I would like to congratulate the quay repair company on the completion of the renovation work.

“The standard of work by the contractor has also been first class.

“The Ocean Queen is now the only blot left on the landscape, but now that the identity of the owner has been discovered I will attempt to contact him to find out when he intends to remove it.”

We called Mr Aitchison twice at the start of this week to try and find out his intentions, but were told he was either unavailable or busy; we left a message asking him to call us back, but he had not done so by our deadline on Tuesday.