FLS reveals plan to create two Ardentinny campsites (updated 31 March)

In a letter to Ardentinny Community Council, Stuart Chalmers of Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) outlined plans to seek planning permission to ’temporarily formalise’ the use of the area as a campsite. 

The proposal would be to create a campsite at the beach (Glenfinart Bay) and a second in the ’nursery field’ (a field west of the beach, currently in use as sheep grazing). Each site would accommodate 20 tents with four portable toilets installed. Additional temporary parking would also need to be created. Nursery field access would be from the west, on the estate road, just off the main Glenfinart road.  

We have asked for a statement from FLS covering the following questions and have copied to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, our MSP and MP. We will update this article in due course:

– Does FLS propose a full pre-application community consultation?

– FLS has stated that they are seeking planning permission to ’temporarily formalise’ the use of the area as a campsite. How long would this ’temporary’ status be valid for?

– Glenfinart Walled Garden is a charitable Trust and is located within the beach area. It derives much of its income from events staged at the garden. If both the beach and nursery field is allocated to paid camping and parking, what measures will be put in place to accommodate free parking for garden visitors at these events?

– Is FLS going to manage the camp sites themselves or will it be placed with a third-party contractor?

– There only appears to be the mention of tents in the campsites. Will camper vans be accommodated?

– By restricting free parking at the beach, the problem of parking will possibly be moved to the village hall car park and adjoining single track roads as well as possible overnight camping on the beach towards Ardentinny Hotel and the Church car park. Has FLS discussed the plan with Ardentinny Village Hall, Ardentinny Community Trust, Ardentinny Bowling Club, Argyll & Bute Council, The National Park and Police Scotland? 

– Are there any plans to accommodate stalls/shops or other infrastructure to support the sites

FLS are holding an online (via Microsoft Teams) meeting with the community on Thursday 1 April from 7pm – 8pm. You can join the meeting online here  or by phone on 0131 376 2847. Phone conference ID is 177 558 486#

Comments are welcome either below or via our Facebook forum or Facebook page


[Update 31 March, 2021 – reply from Forestry & Land Scotland to our questions:

– Does FLS propose a full pre-application community consultation?
 
FLS will submit planning application soon and have already met with representatives of the community council and have offered a public meeting on Microsoft Teams at 7pm on the 1st April.
Join on your computer or mobile app
Or call in (audio only)
 
– FLS has stated that they are seeking planning permission to ’temporarily formalise’ the use of the area as a campsite. How long would this ’temporary’ status be valid for?
 
The area has historically been used for informal camping which is difficult to manage. The temporary change of use to a Campsite will allow us to charge for camping which will enable us to increase staff presence on the site. It also gives us better control over where people camp, the numbers that camp and improves our ability to keep the site well managed.  The length of time we put the temporary change of use in place is something we are keen to discuss with the  community on the 1st April. Our feeling is two years would be ideal as we expect that 2021 and 2022 will both have a high demand for staycations.
 
There will continue to be parking available for day visitors and the community.
 
– Glenfinart Walled Garden is a charitable Trust and is located within the beach area. It derives much of its income from events staged at the garden. If both the beach and nursery field is allocated to paid camping and parking, what measures will be put in place to accommodate free parking for garden visitors at these events?
 
Glenfinart Walled Garden, or any other group or event organiser, are welcome to get in touch with Forestry and Land Scotland to agree a permission if they need access to any FLS land including the car park. For more information see https://forestryandland.gov.scot/business-and-services/permissions-and-permits
 
– Is FLS going to manage the camp sites themselves or will it be placed with a third-party contractor?
 
Forestry and Land Scotland will manage the camping ourselves. We will recruit two seasonal staff to support the camping. The staff will have duties in the wider Argyll Forest Park area but the focus of the work will be in Ardentinny. We feel this is the best way for us to manage the expected pressure on the Ardentinny caused by visitors in 2021. Although this will have a net cost to FLS to deliver we expect that proactively managing visitors will be more cost effective than reactively dealing with the issues. The camping staff on site will proactively manage issues will make it a better experience for the community, than we can do with existing resources.
 
– There only appears to be the mention of tents in the campsites. Will camper vans be accommodated?
 
There is expected to be a restricted number of locations allocated for campervans at Ardentinny. Nationally, there has been a temporary change to both licencing and planning requirements for three years for campervans, which means that Forestry and Land Scotland and other bodies will not require licencing or planning approval to provide campervan sites. This was trailed last year by Forestry and Land Scotland as Stay the Night. One of the conditions is that the campervan sites will require daily supervision. More information will be published soon at https://forestryandland.gov.scot/staythenight
 
– By restricting free parking at the beach, the problem of parking will possibly be moved to the village hall car park and adjoining single track roads as well as possible overnight camping on the beach towards Ardentinny Hotel and the Church car park. Has FLS discussed the plan with Ardentinny Village Hall, Ardentinny Community Trust, Ardentinny Bowling Club, Argyll & Bute Council, The National Park and Police Scotland?
 
Camping and Charging for Parking are two separate items. The Camping does require a temporary change of use to allow us to convert part of the car park into camping and the bodies mentioned above will all get an opportunity to express their views as part of the planning application. We have a right a landowner to charge for parking and that does not require us consult with others.  However, we have been in dialogue with the Bowling Club as they are a tenant of FLS to make sure we can protect their parking. If there are impacts from charge car parking on other landowners or local groups we will continue to be open to discuss solutions.  We have not yet decided when we will start charge for parking at Ardentinny. Argyll and Bute Council, National Park and Police Scotland are broadly aware of our plans through National Park Safe Recovery Action Group.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
– Are there any plans to accommodate stalls/shops or other infrastructure to support the sites?
 
There are no shops or stalls planned. As an organisation we are open to approached from commercial mobile units through our permission system mentioned above. We are currently investigating additional bins and temporary toilets.
 

Instructions for joining FLS Microsoft Teams Meeting for Windows 10 (Edge browser) and Mac (Chrome browser) + mobile devices.
 
Windows 10 (Edge browser):
 
1. Click the following link or type it in in your browser https://bit.ly/3d8qY49
 
2. This should take you to a page which says ‘How do you want to join your Teams meeting?’. You may also see a Microsoft Teams log-in pop-up box appear. There is no need to log-in if you do not wish to and you don’t need a ’Teams’ account.
 
3. Unless you want to download the ’Teams’ app for your computer, we’d suggest you just click on the ‘Continue on this browser’ option.
 
4. This should take you to a page which asks if you wish to ‘allow’ or ‘block’ your camera. When you select ‘allow’ your video should appear in the browser.
 
5. Enter you name and click on ‘Join now’.
 
 
Mac (Chrome browser):
 
1. Click the following link or type it in in your browser https://bit.ly/3d8qY49
 
2. This should take you to a page which says ‘How do you want to join your Teams meeting?’. You may also see a Microsoft Teams log-in pop-up box appear. There is no need to log-in if you do not wish to and you don’t need a ’Teams’ account.
 
3. Unless you want to download the ’Teams’ app for your computer, we’d suggest you just click on the ‘Continue on this browser’ option.
 
4. This should take you to a page which asks if you wish to continue with or without audio or video.
 
– To ‘Allow audio & video’, click on the tiny camera icon in your address bar (this is dependent on your browser, you may instead see a pop-up message) and select your preference.
– To ‘Continue without audio or video’, just click on the ‘Continue without audio or video’ button
 
5. You will then be asked to enter your name and click on the ‘Join now’ button.
 
Phone:
You can also make contact by phone calling the Microsoft Teams number – 0131 376 2847 conference id: 177 558 486#
 
iOS device (iPhone, iPad):
Download the Microsoft Teams app from the App Store https://apps.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-teams/id1113153706 and go to https://bit.ly/3d8qY49
 
Android device:
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