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OIC to foot whole cost of new Bignold road

A new road is to be constructed in Bignold Park, at full cost to Orkney Islands Council.

Orkney Islands Council (OIC) has agreed to foot the full bill for the construction of a new road through Bignold Park in Kirkwall.

The aim of the 567-metre road will be to improve accessibility for users of the park, at a projected cost of  between £50,000 and £76,000. While any benefit from the project will be intended for all members of the community, it will be a particular bonus to Orkney Agricultural Society (OAS), which hosts County Show in the park each August.

According to the council, OAS had originally offered to contribute up to £25,000 towards construction of the new road, which will aid in bringing livestock transport into the park in the run up to the annual show.

Meanwhile, the recommendation put forward to islands councillors at a special general meeting, this Wednesday morning, was that OIC should cover 75 per cent of project costs. The proposal was that this would be up to a maximum sum of £57,000, to be met from the council’s Common Good Fund.

However, after an intervention by Kirkwall West and Orphir councillor, Leslie Manson, councillors instead agreed to cover the whole cost of the new road — £57,000 from the Common Good Fund, and if necessary, an additional £19,000 from the Capital Projects Fund.

It was also confirmed, at today’s meeting, that the project will not be required to go through a formal planning process, due to its status as a “permitted development”.

This drew some concern from Kirkwall East councillor, Steven Heddle, who successfully called for an additional recommendation that any future projects concerning use or development of Bignold Park be put to the public for consultation.

More on this story in next week’s The Orcadian.