Venue: Clachan Village Hall, Clachan
Contact: Fiona McCallum Tel. No. 01546 604392
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were intimated from Councillors George Freeman, David Kinniburgh, Alistair MacDougall and Robert G MacIntyre.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Report by Head of Planning and Regulatory Services
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were made. Charles Reppke, Head of Governance and Law outlined the procedure that would be followed and invited anyone who wished to speak at the meeting to identify themselves. Once that process had been completed the Chair invited the Planning Officer to set out his recommendations.
Richard Kerr, Principal Planning Officer spoke to the terms of the report advising that this is a local application for planning permission submitted by the owners of the Balinakill Country House Hotel for the erection of gate pillars, cast iron gates, flank walls and railings on the driveway securing the Applicant’s premises and other properties in separate ownership at Balinakill, who share the same access, known locally as The Avenue.
He advised that it follows on from a previous application for listed building consent which was granted by Officers under delegated powers for the dismantling of existing gate pillars and their re-erection in an alternative location, to facilitate the development to which planning permission is sought.
He advised that Balinakill is a late 19th Century Scottish Baronial country house, listed grade C in 1980. Although not specifically recorded in the listing details the gate pillars which stand at the entrance to the driveway become automatically protected as curtilage structures by the effect of the listing of the principal building. Over the years it has been occupied for several purposes, latterly as a private hotel, and it is now rented out as an entity for periods of exclusive use by organisations, families and parties requiring accommodation for short periods within historic surroundings. It is now divorced from subservient buildings within the former estate such as the gate lodge and farm buildings, which are in separate ownerships. The driveway serving the hotel still affords a means of access to some of these buildings, and later buildings, with private servitude rights of access being held by the owners of some of those properties.
Referring to presentation slides he advised that the current extent of the land in the Applicant’s control was outlined in red on the plans and comprised the main house, the curtilage incorporating the garden grounds associated with the house, the driveway to a point just beyond the entrance point to the house, the lengths of the drive back down to the A83, and the site of former tennis courts to the north of the drive. He advised that it should be noted that the A83 at this point amounts to a by pass of the village centre of Clachan and that its construction bisected estate land originally associated with the house. At that time the gate pillars which now stand at the junction of the driveway with the main road were dismantled and re-erected in their present position astride a wide bellmouth which did not lend itself to re-use of the gates. The current entrance is therefore flanked by three re-positioned stone pillars, but these do not support operating gates.
He referred to an extract from the Local Plan showing that the settlement of Clachan comprises two distinct and physically separated elements – namely the main part of the village lying principally to the north of the A83, and the separate cluster of buildings around Balinakill to the east. The latter comprises the hotel, a farmstead, a small fish farm and a half dozen residential properties. Access between the two is achieved via the driveway intended to be gated as part of this proposal, although there is a secondary means of access direct from Balinakill to the A83 to the north. This is a less commodious route for a number of reasons which he advised he would describe later on.
He referred to a slide showing the location of the three gate pillars as they exist at the moment and the proposed location. The current width between the carriageway piers is over 6 metres which is uncharacteristically wide apart and would not lend itself to the original intended purpose of the gate pillars, which was clearly for the mounting of gates. Notwithstanding the opening width issue, he advised that there would also be problems presented by the introduction of gates in such close proximity to an A road, given the need to ensure adequate standing space for a range of sizes of vehicles to enable the operation of the gates. For this reason, the Roads Engineer will always require a suitable set back of gates in such circumstances. The intended location is set up the drive so as to not interfere with access to and from a consented house plot, the access point for which lies just inside the existing gate pillars. The alternative location for the pillars would produce a 3.6 metre wide carriageway opening, respecting the existing width of the drive, plus a 1 metre wide pedestrian access on which is the existing verge to the carriageway.
He referred to a slide showing the intended dispositions of the gate pillars and the intended design of the cast iron gates, the flank walls and the associated railings, along with some photographs extracted from the manufacturer’s brochure.
As previously mentioned, he advised that listed building consent has already been granted for the dismantling of the gate pillars and for their re-erection. That application primarily confined itself to the historic environment implications of the development in terms of: 1) consequences for historic fabric in terms of physical works involved in dismantling and re-erecting the stone components of the pillars; 2) the appropriateness of the new location in relation to the setting of the listed house; and 3) the character and design and materials proposed for use in the development relative to the gate pillars, both in relation to the design of the pillars themselves and in the context of the listed house.
He advised that the view was taken at the time of the granting of the listed building consent, that setting gates back from the road was appropriate, and not uncommon in the ... view the full minutes text for item 3.