Venue: Strachur Memorial Hall (New Hall), Strachur
Contact: Fiona McCallum Tel. No. 01546 604406
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were intimated from Councillors Rory Colville, Robin Currie, Mary-Jean Devon, David Kinniburgh, Neil Mackay, Alister MacAlister and Al Reay.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
ARDKINGLAS ESTATE: ERECTION OF MIXED DEVELOPMENT COMPRISING 16 DWELLING HOUSES, 7 COMMERICAL UNITS, CHILDCARE CENTRE, INSTALLATION OF SEWAGE TREATMENT SYSTEMS AND ACCESS IMPROVEMENTS: LAND ADJACENT TO ARDKINGLAS SAWMILL, CLACHAN, CAIRNDOW (REF: 09/00385/OUT) PDF 83 KB
Reports 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.
Mr Ross McLaughlin, Development Manager, spoke to the terms of his report and referred to a supplementary planning report number 3 which had been tabled at the meeting and highlighted late representations received and also the fact that Transport Scotland would not be attending the hearing today and that they felt their letter and submissions provided a full explanation to their earlier response dated 25 August 2011.
Mr McLaughlin advised that the Committee were being asked to consider an application for development of a site which was, in the Argyll and Bute Local Plan, located within sensitive countryside but forms part of Potential Area for Development PDA 9/13 ‘Cairndow-Inverfyne’ where a mixed used business/housing/recreation use is supported and Area for Action AFA 9/14 where strategic business and environmental improvements are encouraged. He referred to a number of slides which showed the red line boundary of the site and outlined what the indicative development would include. He pointed out the existing workshops and the location of the Bonnar Weighbridge and the conifer plantation which was proposed to be felled. He advised that the conifers were ready for harvesting and that the applicant would need to obtain a felling licence before cutting down the trees. The slides also showed the layout of the proposed development and the proposed pedestrian access to Lochfyne Oysters although this was not part of the application. The slides also highlighted the existing landscaping, tree planting and shelter belts at the site and the existing native planting at the shelter belt and the proposed new planting. He advised that the application sought to include at least 25% affordable housing though it was not clear at this stage the delivery mechanism for these. The slides also included a photo montage provided by the Applicant which showed what the view of the site would be from the A83 once the trees were felled and also gave an indication of the roof line which was comparable with the existing commercial sheds. Mr McLaughlin advised that the site covered 2 hectares and was phase 1 of PDA 9/13. He referred to representations made by the Statutory Consultees which were summarised in the Planning report. He advised that SEPA had raised objections to the Masterplan submitted for PDA 9/13 (which was for indicative purposes only and currently had no planning status) and that they had raised an issue regarding the location of discharged treated sewage which appeared to be different on the submitted planning application drawings from their records in respect of the CARS licence issued to the Applicant. Mr McLaughlin also referred to the public representations received which were divided in opinion and confirmed that multiple letters had been received from both Supporters and Objectors. He confirmed that there were 11 separate Objectors and 19 Supporters. He advised that the main issues raised by the Supporters included the need for housing in the area; securing jobs for the area; the childcare centre; affordable housing for existing workers; and that some of the Objectors did not live in the area. He advised that the issues raised by Objectors included scale of the development out of keeping with the surrounding area; poor design; loss of tranquillity; focus of development should be Cairndow Village itself; no more housing needed and Pheasant Field development should be sufficient; this is Phase 1 of a much bigger development and no consultation process had taken place; road safety issues on A83; and visibility splays on a very fast road.
Mr McLaughlin confirmed that Planners were supportive of a mixed used development but that there were 3 main areas of concern and that these related to the specific density of the site which was excessive in a rural location. He also advised that there was the potential for bad neighbour conflicts from existing operations and bad neighbour conflicts with the new industrial units proposed which would be close to the proposed new housing. Thirdly, he advised that an acceptable Masterplan for the site had not been submitted and that this was Phase 1 of a larger scheme. He advised that a Masterplan approach was advocated in devising proposals for the development of all PDAs identified by the Argyll and Bute Local Plan in order to ensure that development is planned for on a comprehensive basis and that phased development, where required, is able to proceed in the knowledge that it will not conflict with, or compromise, the future development of the remainder of the PDA and therefore recommended refusal of the application for reasons 1 and 2 detailed in his original report and for reason 3 detailed in supplementary report 1.
Ms Suzanne McIntosh, a planning consultant, urban designer and mediator acting for the Applicant, Mr Sumsion, spoke in support of his application. She stressed to the Committee that they were considering a application for planning in principle and not a detailed worked up design. She confirmed that extensive work has been carried out by all parties to resolve issues at the application in principle stage though the process was not without frustrations and at times seemed to stall. She advised that substantial representations have been received in support of bringing forward this development which would bring positive benefits for the local area. She advised the Applicant has worked hard to address the concerns expressed by objectors and asked the Committee to carefully consider the representations and where signatories are from, how they related to this site and what their interest is in objecting to the application. She advised that over the last 30 years Ardkinglas Estate has encouraged the start up and growth of a wide range of ... view the full minutes text for item 3.