Agenda and minutes

Planning, Protective Services and Licensing Committee - Tuesday, 21 February 2012 10:30 am

Venue: Victoria Halls, Helensburgh

Contact: Fiona McCallum Tel. No. 01546 604406 

No. Item




Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillor Rory Colville.




Councillor Vivien Dance declared a non financial interest as she had chosen to encourage support for the application.  Councillor Dance also advised that she did not attend the site visit.  Councillor Dance participated in the hearing but left the room and took no part in the decision of this item.




Report by Head of Planning and Regulatory Services

Additional documents:



The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were made.  The Chair also said that he would with the Committee’s agreement extend the period for presentations to an hour for each segment and that he was keen to ensure all parties were heard.


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.




Mr Kerr spoke to the terms of his four planning reports.  Mr Kerr advised supplementary report 3 dealt with last minute matters regarding the mitigation.   The application was continued in December due to the large number of objections and supporters and was further delayed until the Masterplan was completed due to the scale of the development and the potential for the sequential test.  The Council has decided not to release the Pier head so the sequential test has been satisfies as per supplementary report 2.


Mr Kerr advised the application was still for refusal due to the adverse impact on the town centre as per the appendix to supplementary report 2.  The location of the site is allocated in the adopted Local Plan as Industrial and Business and therefore conflicts with the adopted Local Plan as the development is retail class 1.  The proposed petrol filling station is takes up approximately 35% of the Open Space Protection Area and is contrary to Policy LP REC 2 . 


Mr Kerr spoke on the retail impact of the proposal on Helensburgh Town Centre and the difference in view between the applicants and Council officer so the Council commissioned a review of available information by Colliers International.  The conclusion of the impact assessment was of such a scale upon convenience retailing in Helensburgh Town Centre that it would be wholly unacceptable and would undermine the vitality and viability of the centre as a whole.  Mr Kerr asked Members to refuse the application as per appendix A of supplementary report 2.




Mr Gorman said this application was the first Waitrose outside the central belt in Scotland.  He said the store would provide more choice for the local people and the opportunity of a second petrol filling station.  Mr Gorman said the Waitrose was owned by partners rather than stakeholders.  He said they had considered a range of other sites but couldn’t find one for the size of store and filing station.  He said construction could start immediately and will be offering 180 jobs.  Waitrose gives the opportunity to local producers to supply the store with 9 new suppliers in Newton Mearns, they also support the Grocery Code Adjudicator.  This will be the only Waitrose in Argyll & Bute and is large enough to claw back retail spend leaking to Dumbarton and beyond. The retail impact will  be an additional £4m spend in the town centre.  He spoke on delivering value and quality.  He further spoke on the commitment to the community giving £12,000 every year to local charities and good causes.  Waitrose are also a member of the Scottish Business in the Community.


Mr Walsh spoke on the development proposals advising that each store was unique.  He spoke on the traffic movements saying they were willing to liaise with Argyll & Bute Council to satisfy pupil’s safety.   He spoke on the cycle path and the landscape architecture saying a lot of the trees within the TPO were dead or dying and showed computer generated photos. 


Mr Mitchell said it was an excellent site at the edge of town ideally located to get the leakage to Dumbarton.  The site is accessible by all modes of transport.  Mr Mitchell spoke on the key planning issues saying the sequential test has been satisfied the claw back of leakage to Dumbarton and beyond is 62% and a 30% trade draw with spin-off expenditure to the town centre.  Mr Mitchell advised that 2.6ha of Business and Industry Land will remain and the loss of the 1.6 ha in the development is offset by the creation of 180 jobs.  There will be significant additional planting and recreational value to maintain the buffer to residential areas. 


Ms Dye spoke on the community engagement with 1243 responses being received and analysed, 90% of which were very positive for a new Waitrose, 90% great need for local jobs, 93% positive about the design and 93% thought the Council should change the designation of the site. 


Mr Martin summed up by saying Waitrose wants to invest in Helensburgh with the creation of 180 jobs.  The application is up for refusal on 3 grounds 2 of which can be deal with in the mitigation and he believed it could be a win win situation.




Mr Divertie from the Roads Department said he had experience of GMP and is satisfied the roundabout will be able to accommodate the traffic.  He said he has some road safety issues with the school but these can be dealt with by conditions.  He is happy with the site subject to conditions.


Mr Miller said he was speaking on behalf of Helensburgh Community Council.  He said the Community Council have taken an active interest in this application to ascertain the view of the community.  He said that this has been the biggest consultation exercise to date and said that the exercise showed that people did not want a supermarket on the pier sites.  Mr Miller spoke on the Hexagon exercise that had been carried out and the survey the Community Council carried out the results of which was 97% said yes to a new supermarket in Helensburgh.  Mr Miller spoke on the design of the building and felt that it should be of a higher quality.  He asked Members to support the proposals but to seek a better design for the building.




Councillor Dance said she is a local Councillor and business owner in Helensburgh and like many in the town have supported this application with the statement “Bring it On”.   She submitted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.