Image courtesy of Oban Aerial Photography

Welcome to OCHDA

Oban Community Harbour Development Association

OCHDA was established in 2019 to explore the possible development of  a Trust Port for Oban Bay, taking responsibility for the currently-unmanaged areas in the Bay. A Trust Port is a fully independent commercial organisation, governed by Statute, intended to manage and maintain a defined Harbour area safely and efficiently, promoting longer-term development with community interests at heart.

Since 2022 OCHDA has been offering advice to Argyll & Bute Council following their decision not to support the Trust Port project but to develop a Council-run ‘Municipal Port’ for Oban. OCHDA is still trying to assist the Council in the establishment of the new Harbour Authority Membership of OCHDA is open to anyone with an interest in the future of Oban Harbour. Send us a message using the form below for more.

Did you know?

What is a Trust Port?

The entrances to Oban Bay are both narrow and convoluted yet, despite the recent increase in vessels using the harbour, there is no organisation ensuring the safe movement of shipping, merely a voluntary code of practice. The regulatory authorities have stated that this cannot continue and that Oban needs a new Harbour Authority.

Oban Community Harbour Development Association has been set up to create a Trust Port similar to those at Tobermory, Mallaig and Stornoway. Trust Ports are run by an independent board, not representing any individual or group, and operate for the benefit of the whole community. They are funded by a small levy on commercial boats using the port; any operating surplus can only be used to improve the harbour for the benefit of the community.

What will OCHDA do?

OCHDA is the body charged with preparing the way for the new Trust Port. Our tasks include:

  • determining the harbour boundaries – how far outside the entrances do we need to control, and how will this interface with exisiting users?
  • demonstrating to the authorities that a Trust Port in Oban is both a sustainable and viable entity;
  • successfully preparing for, and recruiting, and independent skilled Board to manage the harbour; and
  • securing a Harbour Order which will empower the new Harbour Authority through the creation of a Scottish Statutory Instrument approved by Scottish Ministers. This will require the use of specialist lawyers