Stonehaven Town Partnership are set to carry out investigations into the possiblity of developing a marina in the town’s harbour.
The ambitious plans would see a multi-million pound marina being placed at the popular tourist spot and an indicative layout suggests that more than 250 vessels could be accommodated within the proposed development.
Potentially, it could deliver an annual income of between £150,000 and £250,000 to Aberdeenshire Council which owns the harbour.
In a report presented to Kincardine and Mearns Area committee members this week, Stephen Archer, the council’s director of infrastructure, stated: “Anecdotal evidence would suggest that there may be demand for such a facility on the North-east coast.
‘‘Proposed future development across south Aberdeenshire, including the proposed major residential development at Elsick, could add to the size of the potential market for such a facility.
“Evidence from other such facilities, and an economic study prepared to support the Banff Harbour Marina development, does suggest that Stonehaven could expect to see wider economic benefits from the development of such a resource. At this stage these are not quantifiable and much more detailed work would be required to determine the scale of such benefits.”
Local councillors agreed to carry out investigations into the plans which they described as a “community-led initiative” and many said they felt local engagement was an important part of the project.
Councillor Graeme Clark said that, while he could see the plans could boost tourism, he was worried about the community losing out.
He explained: “We have to take local people on board, and we have to think that is the piece of beach that people use in Stonehaven. However, it has come from the community.”
He also explained that, like the Caravan Club, the marina would be a big draw for visitors to Stonehaven.
Councillor Carr voiced concerns about the suitability of the area for such a scheme. However, he was assured that the conditions were favourable to the project and that there was a market for such a marina to be put in place.
Councillors praised the community-led approach being taken on the project, with Councillor Alison Evison describing it as “exciting.”
The scheme could cost in the region of £5-8million and potentially deliver an income of between £150,000 and £250,000 in berthing dues every year.
Further development of the community-led initiative would involve the creation of a business case and the investigation of potential sources of funding.
Following being given the go-ahead by the area committee, the council’s harbour service provides preliminary advice and technical assistance in relation to the creation of an initial feasibility study.