All that will remain closed for the coming tourist season on Sanda Island, off the east coast of the Mull of Kintyre, is the hotel and the restaurant.
The owners have made it clear that visitors are welcome to land on the beaches as usual.
This is private property open to public access in accordance with Scotland’s liberal land access legislation, But this does not – and could not legitimately require a landowner to absorb the cost of maintaining a private pier to facilitate such access.
When the hotel and the restaurant reopen, the pier will be open for those who pay to come to stay and eat there.
The water situation does not seem to be particularly serious – but it is a temporary obstacle for the enterprise.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Environmental Health department is requiring simply that all water for human consumption must be boiled.
This would indicate nothing more than the usual bacterial contamination in run-off water. A straightforward and low cost solution to this is the use of a UV steriliser.
The closure of the hotel and the restaurant is a loss to the Kintyre visitor menu and a disappointment. It may even be partly due to the owner’s disconcertedness at the poor response to the venue in the awful weather of the 2012 season.
Sanda and its little archipelago compose a unique and specialist destination but one with genuine potential if it is linked to existing services that would support it – such as the Kintyre Express fast passenger ferry business – and if it is energetically and imaginatively marketed.
Access to its glorious and quite unique lighthouse, built in 1850 by Alan Stevenson of the truly remarkable family of lighthouse builders, would be another major draw.
When the owners of the island get everything back up and running – or preferably before then, we are committing ourselves here to do a major photojournalism piece to help to promote it to our substantial audience.