Green MSP Ross Greer has welcomed a decision that will give coastal communities along the Clyde the opportunity to have more of a say on marine planning issues such as at Hunterston Port.

While planning decisions on land are made by the council, the equivalent decisions at sea are made by Marine Planning Partnerships - which means that Fairlie Community Council will be able to have their say on developments at the Peel Ports owned terminal.

In the Firth of Clyde, the Clyde Marine Planning Partnership has responsibility, and is made up of representatives of a range of organisations such as Peel Ports, North Ayrshire Council and conservation groups.

In 2021, a group of coastal community councils combined to bid to be represented but the partnership initially rejected the request. 

Earlier this year, Ross Greer wrote to Scottish Government Minister Mairi McAllan calling for the community councils to be invited onto the decision-making body, pointing out that Marine Planning Partnerships are expected to support community involvement. 

In response to a Parliamentary Question from Mr Greer following up on the issue this month, the minister confirmed that the planing partnership has now agreed to include the community councils.

Ross Greer said: “It was grossly unfair that we had a situation where community councils are a key consultee for planning decisions on land, but for proposals at sea our coastal community councils had no say whatsoever.

There are big decisions ahead for the Clyde Partnership, which will have profound effects on the sensitive coastal environment of the Firth of Clyde, as well as the local economy.

“I’m pleased that the planning partnership as well as the Scottish Government, have accepted our calls for direct community representation.”