A PLASTIC surgeon has started legal proceedings to evict a group of fishermen from a historic harbour.
Pralhad Kolhe, 74, issued a writ against the Cove Fishermen’s Association in Aberdeen on Thursday.
He owns the pier and much of the land around the harbour, which he bought along with his house overlooking the bay in 2001.
He first sent a letter ordering them off the land in April 2014.
In recent months access to the water has been blocked by giant boulders dumped around the pier, and red warning notices were put on cars.
The ten lobster fishermen, whose families have used the harbour since the 18th century, have vowed to fight him in court.
They have already raised nearly £4,000 toward legal costs via an online campaign.
The row has been going on since April 2014, when the fishermen say they first got a letter ordering them to vacate the beach.
Jim Adam, who has fished from the harbour for 50 years, said he had no idea why they were now being asked to leave.
He said: “Why he waits 14 years to try and kick people off, I don’t know. We’re talking local history here. This is deeply instilled stuff – i take my grandchildren out in the boat.
“I’m not going to let some fella tell me I can’t. I’ve had a boat for 50 years.
“He’s taking us to court. He issued us with a writ and we said we’re going to defend the case.
“We have to prepare a defence by April and I’m guessing it would be after that.
“He’s actually denying folk a livelihood down there. It’s an odd thing for a guy who’s a surgeon. You’d think there’d be some compassion.”
He added: “It’s seasonal, it’s not full-time for most of the guys. There are a couple of guys who rely on it for their livelihood. All the boats are registered, licensed fishing boats. To buy all your gear and everything you wouldn’t get much change out of £20,000.
Stephen Flynn, a local SNP councillor, said: “It needs to be resolved. The area itself is a very close-knit community and he has just shown them a blatant disregard – not only the fishermen and the council but the community as well.
“It’s doing a lot of harm to the fishermen themselves and the reputation of the local area.”
Mr Kolhe is understood to have bought the land along with his house, which overlooks the harbour, in 2001.
He is listed on the BMI Albyn hospital in Aberdeen’s website as a consultant plastic surgeon specialising in cosmetic surgery.
Prices are not listed, but the clinic offers cosmetic surgery including breast enlargements and nose jobs as well as medical procedures.
When contacted for comment, the hospital passed on Mr Kolhe’s mobile number.
He said today (Tue): “Well, there is no comment from me. Please, no comment.”
A spokesman for the local authority said: “Council officers are currently in discussions with the landowner and the fishermen’s association regarding public access to Cove harbour with the aim of resolving the issue amicably.”
The crowdfunding campaign for the fishermen’s legal fees is online: Cove Harbour Aberdeen crowdfunding page