Councillors to decide on
harbour changes

Changes have been proposed.
Changes have been proposed.

Changes to Aberdeenshire Council controlled harbours will be discussed by councillors today (Thursday), at a meeting of the infrastructure committee in Aberdeen.

Officers have recommended a baseline increase of 3.5% for the coming financial year.

Typical examples of the increases proposed for vessels are: 6 month fee for a 7m traditional berth at Rosehearty increases by £4.40 to £130.19; 12 month fee for an 8m serviced pontoon berth in Banff Harbour Marina increases by £36.39 to £1,075.58; The weekly rate for a typical commercial fishing vessel (17 – 22m length overall) laid up at Macduff Harbour increases by £2.48 to £73.54.

Increases would not apply to percentage fees or to “one-off” single payments such as leisure slipway fees or season tickets.

Councillors will also be asked to approve revisions to charges for commercial or charter operations which operate from some Aberdeenshire Council harbours.

Some operators were conerned changes put in place in 2013 were not working effectively and therefore a revised structure is proposed for 2014.

It is proposed that Charter Opertors undertaking “ferrying” trips, such as trips to offshore vessels, will be charged a flat fee per trip. Operators engaged in certified equipment testing and training will be charged a fee based on a fixed percentage of income from that operation, up to a maximum ceiling.

These proposals will not impact on charter vessels engaged in leisure trips, such as diving, fishing and wildlife spotting.

Operators in this sector will continue to be charged in line with long standing arrangements, by way of a fixed uplift on the annual berthing fees applicable to private leisure vessels not engaged in charter activities.

Aberdeenshire Council operates Banff, Gourdon, Johnshaven, Macduff, Portsoy, Rosehearty and Stonehaven harbours.

Further information on local harbours, including current rates and dues, is available on Aberdeenshire Council’s website.