Port Ellen—Harbour Legislation

Project progress

Catch up with the latest news from the Port Ellen Harbour Legislation project

About this project

Find out everything you need to know about the Harbour Legislation project at Port Ellen

Port Ellen Terminal Development Project

Find out more about the main development project

Latest news

Port Ellen Harbour Revision Order: Draft HRO and Statement in Support of Application

Port Ellen Harbour Revision Order: Draft HRO and Statement in Support of Application

CMAL is now making available the draft Port Ellen Harbour Revision Order and draft Statement in Support of Application for the Port Ellen HRO project.

Please feel free to review the documents and ask any questions you wish via our online form.

We look forward to welcoming you to our public event in The Ramsay Hall, Port Ellen on Tuesday 13th February between 16:00 and 19:00.

Download the draft Port Ellen Harbour Revision Order ›

Download the draft Statement in Support of Application ›

Ask a question ›

Further information is available at: cmassets.co.uk/port-ellen-legislation

Port Ellen Harbour Revision Order: Public Meeting

Port Ellen Harbour Revision Order: Public Meeting

CMAL invites the community and stakeholders to attend an engagement event on Tuesday 13th February between 16:00 and 19:00 at The Ramsay Hall in Port Ellen.

The purpose of this event is to seek feedback and answer questions on the Harbour Revision Order which provides statutory consent for the construction works to progress.

This event will be an in-person drop-in session. Anyone with an interest is encouraged to drop-in at a time convenient to them.

For those unable to attend in person, materials presented at the events will subsequently be made available via the project page on our website.

The draft order and further information is available at: cmassets.co.uk/port-ellen-legislation

About this project


Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) intend to promote a Harbour Revision Order (HRO) at Port Ellen and the purpose of this page is to:—

  • Provide information regarding harbour authorities and harbour legislation.
  • Provide information regarding why an HRO is needed.
  • Provide information on the process.

CMAL as Statutory Harbour Authority at Port Ellen

CMAL is the Statutory Harbour Authority at Port Ellen as established by the following legislation:—

  • An Act for improving and maintaining the harbour of Port Ellen in the County of Argyll, 26th June 1846.
  • The Scottish Transport Group (Port Ellen Harbour) Order Confirmation Act 1975.
  • The Caledonian Maritime Assets (Port Ellen) Harbour Revision Order 2011.

What is a Harbour Authority

A Harbour Authority is a body which has been given statutory powers or duties through local legislation for the purpose of improving, maintaining, and managing a harbour or port.

There are two types of Harbour Authority: Statutory (SHA) and Competent (CHA). CMAL is an SHA at its harbour authority locations. A CHA is different in that it allows for pilotage activities and is required to comply with the relevant pilotage regulations. There are locations where marine activities are undertaken with no formal harbour authority status; these can be referred to marine facilities.

The Harbours Act 1964

The 1964 Act gives powers to Scottish Ministers to make various types of harbour order, for the purposes of introducing new harbour legislation or amending existing harbour legislation of local application to a specific harbour or group of harbours.

Types of Orders

Harbour Revision Order

Orders under section 14 of the 1964 Act can be applied for by the harbour authority concerned in improving, maintaining or managing a harbour in the exercise and performance of statutory powers and duties, or by a person, or a body representing persons, having a substantial interest in the harbour. The order must be in the interests of the harbour and may be made for achieving all or any of the objects specified in Schedule 2 of the 1964 Act. An HRO can extend or modify existing statutory powers and/or authorise works.

This is the type of Order CMAL are applying for at Port Ellen.

Harbour Empowerment Order

Orders under section 16 of the 1964 Act may be applied for by any person whose objectives are the improvement, maintenance or management of a harbour, or the construction of a new harbour for which they are seeking statutory powers where such powers do not already exist.

Harbour Reconstitution Order

Orders under section 15 of the 1964 Act are made by Scottish Ministers without application by a harbour authority and are limited to the reconstitution of a harbour authority and the regulation of its procedure.

Local Legislation

Harbour Authorities derive their basic statutory powers and dues from local legislation. Until 1964, this legislation was always in the form of a private Act of Parliament (or in an order contained in, and confirmed by, an Act of Parliament). The Harbours Act 1964 introduced a system whereby such powers and duties can be conferred or varied by an order in the form of a statutory instrument made by Scottish Ministers.

Many Harbour Authorities were established by a private Act of Parliament, often in the nineteenth century (or earlier).

In many cases a Harbour Authority’s local legislation will consist of several different Acts or Orders, passed, or made over a considerable period of time.

This can be seen in the existing legislation in place at Port Ellen as set out above.

Additional legislation may have been required, for example to authorise the construction of new harbour works such as piers or jetties, to modernise the powers to regulate the harbour or (more recently) to expand the range of activities which the authority may carry on at, or in connection with, the harbour.

Why is an HRO needed?

Redevelopment of Port Ellen Terminal is proposed because the existing ferry terminal does not provide sufficient marshalling capacity for the existing ferry vessels serving the port and will not provide the marshalling capacity for the next generation of CMAL major vessels currently under construction. In addition, several elements of the existing infrastructure are approaching the end of their serviceable life and are now beyond economic repair and should be replaced.

A preferred option for the harbour development was selected following an options appraisal process and stakeholder consultation. This option comprises a full redevelopment of the ferry terminal. It builds over the current ferry terminal footprint. The proposed option provides:

  • Two new, longer ferry berths designed to accommodate the New Islay Vessels
  • A significant area of reclaimed land to facilitate the required marshalling area
  • Unaccompanied trailer facilities
  • A new terminal building
  • Improvements to passenger access
  • An Improved traffic management layout and segregated commercial spaces
  • Dredging to facilitate access and mooring of the New Islay Vessels

The proposed development would involve the demolition of the existing pier and terminal building.

It also includes the replacement of fenders, fender sponsons, bollards, fencing, Diageo’s grain handling equipment, etc.

The CMAL project team are developing detailed plans and designs for the works required; these are also subject to consultation through the marine licence process.

The HRO is required to provide the appropriate statutory consent for the delivery of marine infrastructure as set out in the Harbours Act 1964, section 14 (see above).

An HRO is made by Scottish Ministers and is subject to a rigorous consultation and application process that includes the identification of the need/or not for an environmental impact assessment.

This is like planning consent that may be given by a local authority for any works on the land, but an HRO is for marine works in a harbour.

The HRO will set out a description of the works, detailed plans and sections, as well as the harbour and operational harbour area.

Project Page

Information will be made available on this project page and this will include (but is not limited to):—

  • Plans and sections for the proposed works.
  • Update on the HRO process programme.
  • Updated drafts of the order.
  • Details of consultation events.
  • Questions raised during consultation and the responses provided.


Transport Scotland manages the formal harbour orders process; they provide guidance on their website, the link is below.

Harbour orders | Transport Scotland

The key stages are:—

  • Drafting of the legislation.
  • Pre-application consultation.
  • Review of drafting by Transport Scotland.
  • Formal application.
  • Formal consultation period.
  • Management of objections and representations.
  • Modifications if required.
  • Review and Decision.

As part of the pre-application consultation process, CMAL intend to fully consult and engage with stakeholders and the public at Port Ellen with respect to the HRO

Once CMAL submits the HRO application to Transport Scotland (following pre-application consultation), there is a formal consultation period of 42 days. At this time, representations regarding the order can be made directly to Transport Scotland.

CMAL will keep stakeholders informed of progress through the process.

All interested stakeholders will have the opportunity to discuss and comment on the HRO; it is hoped that any concerns raised in the pre-application consultation can be resolved before we enter into the formal process.

Contact CMAL

If you would like to contact CMAL at this time please email.


Keep up-to-date

Stakeholders can sign-up to receive updates from CMAL as the Harbour Legislation projects progress

Ask a question

You are invited to ask any questions you may have about the Harbour Legislation project