Vehicle ban latest step in row over access to North-east harbour

Vehicular access to Cove Harbour is now to be banned.

A legal battle between fishermen and a landowner has stepped up after it was announced that all vehicles would be banned from accessing an Aberdeen harbour.

In a letter dated July 5, fishermen were told that landowner Pralhad Kolhe would be restricting all vehicular access to Cove Harbour.

Jim Adam, chairman of the Cove Fishermen Association, which is fighting the move, called the latest development “sad”.

He said: “We have tried to compromise, saying that we can move the boats and equipment.

“He is going to refuse consent for vehicle access to the harbour.

“You can move the boats but you can’t get access to them. It’s a bit of a catch 22.

“He just doesn’t want boats at the harbour.

“This will affect all sorts of people, people with disabilities who want to visit the harbour, scuba divers, kayakers. Where are they going to park their cars?

“It’ll impact other users, not just the fishermen. It’s sad. A lot of people go down there, especially at this time of the year. It’ll be interesting seeing divers and kayakers taking their equipment all the way up the hill. It will destroy some people’s livelihoods.”

All vehicle access to the site will be prohibited, which has raised concerns that emergency services may also be unable to use the road.

Jim said: “If there was an accident between Cove and Stonehaven there’s nowhere you can get down, it’s just Cove, Stonehaven and Aberdeen. There’s some serious implications of it.”

The row, which has been ongoing since April 2014, has already seen four large boulders being laid at the site to stop fishermen from leaving their boats.

An order was also issued to owners to move their vessels from the spot in August 2015.

Since then fishermen have set up a crowdfunding site to raise £20,000 to pay the legal fees for the case.

Mr Kolhe declined to comment.