The Holy Loch Marina

From the other side





The Story (Part 3)

Works started to extend the marina.

The extent of the plans at that stage was to infill a small area next to the old naval base to provide car parking and dry storage for boats and floating pontoons out in the loch with a new slipway which didn't appear  that bad, but when the works started that was the start of ours and our neighbours nightmare, The dredged materials he was using from the loch to make this infill were quite frankly,  stinking to say the least, a few neighbours developed chest conditions as did my son who had to get an inhaler at one stage, all of which may have just been coincidence.  According to the environmental health, there was no significant health risks from this material so he continued to pile up this seabed.

Now I'm no construction engineer but I do know that if you just place mud in a pile it will spread out but this man just kept piling up this dredged sea bed into the area he had planning permission for with nothing to stop this slurry from going where it pleased.  Inevitably it happened . After a heavy downpour of rain we woke up one morning to a landslide at our back garden. The scene reminded me of the images after Mount St Helens errupted and left a devastating trail of destruction, albeit on a much smaller scale.

The material he had dredged and left to dry out had slipped all the way along the back of 4 cottages. It was disheartening to see and we were angry that this had been allowed to happen. I immediately went round to see Matt Downs in his office to see what he was going to do about it and his attitude was completely non apologetic. He basically told me there was nothing he could do about it, the conversation got a bit heated and I questioned his credentials as an engineer but I kept as level a head as I could. I left his site before I was angered into doing something I would regret later. 

I contacted the planning department the moment I got back to the cottage and was assured that they would force Matt Downs to clear it up. During the time it took to get this action taken, 2 kids had wandered onto the landslide and had to be rescued as they sank into the mud and were unable to get out. Our local councillor ( Bruce Marshall, more on him later in the story) had managed to get stuck himself as he inspected the site. Planning gave him 6 weeks to rectify the problem and in the end it took him almost a year, as no expense spared, it was himself and his son who did the cleanup in what looked like their spare time and in a small JCB. This just proved to me what I'd thought all along that he just did not care about his neighbours feelings. We did have a few laughs mind you in that time, watching him from our kitchen window, when the JCB kept getting bogged down and he had to be towed out before the tide engulfed him.

This is an example of the material he used to pack out the initial infill, he also used the remains of Spence Court which was a Dunoon located block of flats to build an extra causeway construction , in that, there was old wires, plastic and various metals contained in what was being dumped next to the water. I contacted SEPA to report this, they did come down to the site to inspect it and reported back to me that, Yes there was non-conforming materials within the dumped material, but they would not pursue the matter on this occassion. I don't quite understand why a body such as SEPA could overlook such a flagrant disregard in a breach of his terms of license, but what do I know?



The picture to the right is of Matthew Downs standing unperturbed and in plain view, at the site where the plaster board and wood has been tipped, in fact when this photo was taken he was more interested in shouting at 2 or 3 kids who were playing on the beach and trying to chase them away.

Below is electrical cables.







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