South Bonar serviced overnight parking on hold

Although Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust has managed to raise significant funding to develop the site of the public toilets in South Bonar, the development is unable to proceed this summer as The Highland Council will not put the development forward for consideration

As you may know there is currently a limited number of campervan waste water disposal points in the north Highlands, resulting in inappropriate use of public toilets, with potential for blockages or spills, risk of serious environmental pollution, and health and safety risks. This has a potentially significant impact on communities and on the landscape – but also affects the experience of visitors who seek to dispose of their waste responsibly.

To try and address this issue, KoSDT has managed to raise significant funding to develop the site of the public toilets in South Bonar into an overnight motorhome camping facility. We have been successful in bids to the VisitScotland Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (£170,000) and the Highland Coastal Communities Fund (£71,678). We have also negotiated a Community Asset Transfer with The Highland Council (THC) to take on the site, on behalf of the community, for £1.

However, we will be unable to proceed this summer as THC will not put the development forward for consideration for Planning Permission due to an objection from SEPA regarding the risk of flooding on the site. Although we are able to show that the development would meet the requirements of a 1 in 200-year flooding event, SEPA are insisting that the site is able to deal with a 1 in 1,000-year flooding event. This would mean raising the whole site by over half a metre which is not financially viable.

This site is not the only one facing these issues – with developments in Helmsdale and Kinlochewe also not being able to proceed as planned. Therefore, we have had to pause the development as we try to find a solution that will allow the project to proceed in a sustainable manner. We will keep you posted.

Last Updated on 10 June, 2021 by Kyle Chronicle

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