Venue: Rothesay Pavilion, 45 Argyll Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute
Contact: Fiona McCallum Tel. No. 01546 604406
Apologies for absence were intimated by:-
Councillor Gordon Chalmers
Councillor Rory Colville
Councillor Robin Currie
Councillor Vivien Dance
Councillor Mary Jean Devon
Councillor Bruce Marshall
Councillor Roderick McCuish
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST (IF ANY)
There were no Declarations of Interest.
Report by Head of Planning and Regulatory Services
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were made.
Mr Charles Reppke, Head of Governance and Law, outlined the hearing procedure and invited anyone who wished to speak at the meeting to identify themselves and once that process had been completed the Chair invited the Planning Department to set out their recommendations.
Councillor Robert Macintyre informed the Committee that he had submitted written representation in support of the application which was not detailed within the report. Councillor Isobel Strong stated that she too had submitted written representation. After discussion, the Committee unanimously agreed to allow both Councillor Macintyre and Councillor Strong to speak at the hearing.
David Eaglesham presented the case on behalf of the Head of Planning and Regulatory Services.
He tabled a Supplementary report which confirmed the receipt of late letters of representation and correspondence since the planning report dated 15 August, 2011.
He advised that the planning application was for the erection of a residential care home, formation of new access and the installation of a private sewage treatment plant to be situated on the A844 to Ascog Village on the east side of the Bute; to the south of Rothesay. The Committee had agreed to the hearing due to the number of representations received and confirmed that these numbered 27 in total. He advised that the site had been viewed by Members and he detailed the various aspects of the proposed development in a series of slides. In policy terms, he advised that the proposed development on the Argyll and Bute Local Plan was within the pink area, a designated settlement zone.
He confirmed that other than the objections detailed, there had been no other statutory consultee objections. Therefore, he recommended approval of the Planning Application subject to the conditions, reasons and informative notes at the end of the report.
Mr Gavin Graham spoke on behalf of the Applicant, assisted by Mr Craig Veldon and detailed the case in the building design and access alluding to the care taken in respect of the histroy of this conservation area.
He related that the land had previously received planning approval in January 2006 for substantive housing development. This was considered by some at that time to be an over-development of the site and that scale of the housing development was not in keeping with the area.
The form of the proposed building is a direct response to the brief and the site. It has the appearance of a two-storey Victorian house extended with wings linked across the frontage by a single storey fully glazed public rooms and entrance foyer. He informed Members that any concerns in regards the proposed design had been addressed. He noted the support received from the local community for this much needed facility, which would also generate local jobs.
He advised Members that a local forum – Bute Forum for Older Voices – had written to Nicola Sturgeon, Health Secretary, highlighting the distinct lack of care facilities and removal of 24-hour care from the island. Mr Graham continued that a recent census conducted with 34 Local Authorities had attested that Argyll and Bute council was third last in the table for the provision of care faciliites for the elderly. Between March 2000- March 2010, there had been a 19.4 % reduction in care provision within Argyll and Bute.
He stated that the proposed development would incorporate a dedicated dementia unit, which was not presently available on the island.
In regards the issue of road safety and the impact on wildlife, again these had been addressed.
He stated that there were no sound planning reasons for the planning application to be refused and that no statutory consultees had opposed it.
Councillor Macintyre spoke on behalf of the planning application and stated that care faciliites on the island had been seriously diminished. Residents had intimated their concerns regarding both this and the frequent instances whereby residents requiring specialist care were often transferred to mainland to receive this.
Councillor Strong related instances of previous residential childrens care home on the island which had functioned well with no adverse impact onto the local community. In her opinion, the proposed development would not have an adverse impact on the Ascog area.
She fully agreed with Councillor Macintyre in regard to the upheaval and problems caused to both patients and family members when they were transferred to the mainland for care. The new care home would provide an excellent facility for the island’s ageing population.
Jeannette McIntyre, on behalf of Bute Forum for Older Voices, reiterated the trauma of families being split up, when the administration of care was implemented on the mainland. She detailed the sometimes onerous travel arrangements for family members endeavouring to visit patients. She stated that the new facility would provide peace of mind to older residents.
Mr Ronnie Falconer detailed the concerns raised by local residents at a local meeting he had chaired regarding the proposed development. The meeting had been held on an impartial basis and reflected views both for and against the development.
He agreed that there was a strong need for a care home on the island, but stated that the siting of the proposed development on a different venue would be more opportune. He felt that the Ascog estate may change considerably if the care home was in situ.
He detailed that he had concerns in regards the scale of the development and questioned the need for a care home of this size. The adjaceny of the development to Clyde House may result in a lack of privacy for its owner. He wondered if there would be potentially high traffic movements in and out of the proposed development which would be detrimental to which, in his opinion, was already an accident blackspot. He realised that there were no objections received from the Area Roads manager.
He continued that the development could have an adverse impact on the local environment – trees, birds and bats ... view the full minutes text for item 3.