Portgordon campaigners say they are not against development

Portgordon Ice-House would have been part of development.

Campaigners who brought a halt to developments aimed at improving tourist and local facilities in a Moray village say that they are not against developments provided they are in the right place.

Stoke-based Gemma Campbell conducted months of consultation with local people before putting plans to Moray Council for two developments, one involving the creation of several new homes along the sea front in Portgordon and another developing a new boatyard and cafe that would include several solar panels.

However, following fierce opposition from the ‘Save our Portgordon Beach’ group and a meeting with Moray MSP Richard Lochhead, Ms Campbell withdrew both applications and indicated that if the villagers wished to purchase the land she would be happy to enter into discussions.

Members of the Community Council had heard arguments from the group but backed the development plans by eight votes to two, prompting claims that the councillors were ‘not representative’ of local feelings.

Now the group are to put local opinion to the test when they hold a public meeting to discuss the issue in the village hall on Wednesday at 7pm.

Campaign group chair Pringle George said: “The fight to save the village’s east beach has shown that the community is alive and thriving and brought to the fore plans to launch a company called Portgordon Community Ltd.

“If we get local agreement the company will register an interest in purchasing the east beach area on behalf of the community, should it become available.  We are not against development in the village, in fact quite the reverse.

“We want to see house-building, business development and viable green energy – but in the right place.  We also want to see all of the groups in the village, and there are many catering for all age ranges, working together for the common good.”