Area committee to discuss Raasay terminal transfer

Transferring the ownership of Raasay ferry terminal to the community is one of the items up for discussion at next week’s Highland Council area committee meeting.

Skye and Raasay councillors are being asked to approve a 99-year lease of the facility for the Raasay Development Trust instead of a community asset transfer.

A council report stated: “This CAT has demonstrated strong community support for the proposals and in turn has set out how this transfer would support the wider community through improving this local asset by making it more accessible, for wider community use including disabled access. The proposal also outlines how transfer would facilitate wider development of community-operated pontoon facilities to support local capacity for increasing numbers of visitors to Raasay.”

However, it added: “A risk specific to a transfer of ownership would be the council’s inability to ensure retention or reinstate amenities for ferry passengers (toilet and waiting room service), should the trust or a sub-let private operator of the facility enter into difficulty or dissolution. Without retaining ownership of the terminal, the council would have no legal basis to intervene to ensure that facilities are re-opened, maintained and operated, by Highland Council or otherwise for the benefit of the community.”

A 99-year lease arrangement at £1 per year has been discussed with RDT as an “agreeable alternative basis” to an outright asset transfer, which has been priced at £35,000.

Also up for discussion at next Monday’s meeting, which will be held online at 10.30am, is the new Portree link road, local roads budget, and additional money for cemetery and public toilet maintenance.