Agenda and minutes

Planning, Protective Services and Licensing Committee - Monday, 10 October 2011 2:00 pm

Venue: Pillar Hall, Victoria Halls, Helensburgh

Contact: Fiona McCallum Tel. No. 01546 604406 

No. Item




Apologies for absence were intimated from:-


Councillor Bruce Marshall

Councillor Robin Currie

Councillor Alex McNaughton

Councillor Alister McAlister





There were no Declarations of Interest



Report by Head of Planning and Regulatory Services

Additional documents:


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and general introductions were made.


Charles Reppke, Head of Governance and Law, outlined the hearing procedure that would follow and the Chair invited anyone who wished to speak at the meeting to identify themselves.


Planning Officer


Howard Young, Area Team Leader, gave a brief outline of the application and gave a short PowerPoint presentation showing various aspects of the application site.


He indicated that there were two now redundant lambing sheds and that the proposal was to utilise these sheds for the processing of firewood for local distribution.  Mr Young advised that this was a finely balanced proposal and that the key policy for determining this application was STRAT DC3 and noted that Green Belt policies were more restrictive than other countryside policies. 


Mr Young explained that the application had been delayed because of issues relating to road safety. This development was not supported as an appropriate use under Green Belt.  The only other issue the Planning Officer had was that Environmental Health had indicated their concerns regarding noise and dust.  He had asked them to be specific about this and they had requested that more information be brought up prior to consideration of the application which had not yet been forthcoming as of the Hearing. Mr Young advised that if Members were minded to approve the application they could attach a suspensive condition regarding the noise and dust. However this could mean that if both issues could not be resolved, then the applicant would have a planning permission that couldn’t be implemented. Mr Young said that, on policy grounds,  he could not support the application and recommended refusal.


Applicant’s Agent


Mr James Adamson – Scottish Woodlands Ltd – informed that he plans were set out in detail and that additional information had been produced when requested.  He felt that there were a few key points to address and that it was important to highlight the context and background of the application and he went on to give a brief outline of this.


In May 2009 the site and the farm were sold.  The sale of the land to the current owner did not include farmhouse and outbuildings, only the two existing lambing sheds and that there had been little interest from neighbouring farmers at that time.  A grant application, subsequently approved, for the Woodland Grant Scheme for Forestry was submitted and the acquisition was completed in 2009.  In 2010, a short term grazing agreement was permitted to allow the movement of cattle.  The lambing sheds were no longer in use for their original purpose and had been empty for the last ten months.  Mr Adamson advised that the owner had looked at various options for alternative use and did not wish to sell and was concerned that the sheds would become a focus for anti social behaviour.  Mr Adamson said that as the owner did not live in the area, he would require to employ a local workforce and wanted any diversification to be compatible with his forestry business,


In 2010, discussions with the Planning Officer had taken place to discuss various options for the site and under existing consent, the current proposal was suitable.  Further to requests, additional information was submitted and the applicants had now been waiting since April 2011. 


Mr Adamson advised that there had been a change in focus from farming to forestry and that there was little scope for seasonal use.  Local farmers had not been interested in renting the land and the owner was keen to see the site maintained.  It was in their opinion that this application would fall within the scope of farming/forestry and that it had excellent environmental credentials in producing wood fuel for the domestic market.


Mr Adamson explained that the process of seasoning wood for burning was lengthy and that only 5 – 6 cubic metres per hour would be processed.  This was in comparison to 120 -130 cubic metres per hour in a modern processing facility.  Mr Adamson accepted that there would be some resultant noise but that the frequency of this would be limited to working hours only and that the use of the site would be fairly low key.


Statutory Consultee


Nigel Millar – Helensburgh Community Council (HCC) wished to register objection to the proposal and cited STRAT DC3 which permits only “very limited and specific categories of countryside based development”.  Mr Millar explained that it was the view of the HCC that this development was of an industrial nature there were concerns regarding the delivery and removal of heavy timber to and from the site.


Mr Millar referred to the change of use for the existing buildings and again referred to STRAT DC3 which lists that only in exceptional cases where it could be successfully demonstrated that the buildings were part of the vital infrastructure, which Mr Millar felt that in this case it did not.


In general, he said, HCC was pro-business in the town and whilst they appreciated that this was an economic development, they felt that the location was unsuitable and in these respects, they had no alternative but to oppose the development but that everything should be done to facilitate such developments in suitable locations in the area.




Alastair Mcbeth, Helensburgh Green Belt Group, said that he would like to focus only on planning rules and that the new planning legislation emphasises support of the Council’s development plans. He advised that the Scottish Planning Policy states that the system should be ‘genuinely plan-led’


In his opinion, Mr Mcbeth felt that the application was contrary to Argyll & Bute’s Structure Plan STRAT DC3 (Green Belt) and Local Plan Policies LP ENV1 and LP BUS2 and that Mr Young had already pointed out several aspects these.


Mr Mcbeth felt that he would like to add two points which were that this application also contravened Scottish Planning Policy 2010, sections 159 – 164 on Green Belts and that none of the 14 material considerations listed in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.