Report by Head of Planning and Regulatory Services
The Development Manager spoke to the terms of supplementary report number 6 which was tabled at the meeting and advised on the advertisement of the Masterplan document submitted by the Applicant, further supporting information from the Applicant, further consultee responses and further representations including a petition of support with 155 names. Notwithstanding the level of support for the proposal, or general acceptance of the Masterplan by Members at previous meetings, the Development Manager advised that the Masterplan document does not provide an appropriate and detailed working of this PDA and is light in terms of population estimates, phasing, massing, heights, integration, landscape capacity and key viewpoint assessment and recommended to Members that they note the contents of this supplementary report and that planning permission be refused as per the original planning report dated 14 September 2011 and amendments to reason for refusal number 3 contained in supplementary report number 1 dated 20 September 2011.
The Head of Governance and Law advised of the receipt of a private and confidential email that had been sent to the Council’s Chief Executive by Mrs Pound and read out a section of this which Mrs Pound had requested be brought to Members’ attention as follows:-
"1. Please advise the PPSL that the personal comments within the new waive of ‘letters for support’ since December 2011 under application 09/00385/OUT – referenced below – are completely incorrect and defamatory and these comments have clearly been made by ill-informed and misguided individuals who have clearly got their facts wrong and/or purposely been given incorrect information. I do not feel that I need to justify what my or my husband’s business is – suffice to say that it is not commercial property development.
I am a stakeholder within the community, run a small business – have done for the last decade – and contribute to the local economy. To that extent, I was recently invited by the Treasurer of the Cowal Marketing Group – as a ‘Business Colleague’ to join that Group so I do find it rather alarming that certain individuals have put in writing comments that I or my husband are commercial developers – when we are not – and contribute nothing to the local economy – when we do – to which I take exception and I would like to put the matter straight once and for all.
"2. I am also alarmed at an elected Member’s personal and defamatory comments made at the last PPSL meeting on 23 November 2011. My answers to any personal questions at the Hearing were factually correct even though they had no relevance to the application and I have to request a public apology”.
The Head of Governance and Law advised that in terms of point 2 above this was not a matter for the PPSL Committee to deal with and that in terms of point 1 this has been drawn to Members’ attention.
That planning permission be refused as per the original planning report dated 14 September 2011 and amendments to reason for refusal number 3 contained in supplementary report dated 20 September 2011.
Moved by Councillor Daniel Kelly, seconded by Councillor Al Reay.
1. This site is described in planning terms as a very generous PDA and the development of less than 2 hectares of this site under the proposals before us to deliver a mixed use development to meet local need for houses, jobs and a childcare facility is in line with Argyll and Bute’s Development Plan and Corporate Plan. This development is a proactive approach to sustaining economic growth and vibrancy in a rural area in what are extremely challenging financial times and will not impede future development of the other 28 hectares against a Masterplan approach to the total site. The submitted Masterplan clearly outlines how the landowner will unlock the potential of this area and support the endeavours of the estate to grow the local economy to a worldwide audience and market. Furthermore, regardless of any perceived shortcomings of the Applicant’s Masterplan for the wider PDA I do not consider this ‘Phase 1’ shall prejudice the satisfactory development of the wider PDA in the longer term and does highlight a level of foresight as can be practicable in the current economic climate. This outline application will not impede the development of a co-ordinated and comprehensive Masterplanning approach for the rest of the site given its discreet and sensitive sighting within the overall PDA area. To this extent, I consider the submitted Masterplan to be broadly acceptable in this instance and demonstrates a comprehensive approach taken by the developer in bringing forward the site and therefore complying with requirements of the Local Plan’s Action Plan. The developer has a long term vision for the area and a proven track record of supporting local enterprise and business in difficult economic times and delivering sensitive and successful enterprises to meet local aspirations and provide much needed employment in the locality
In view of the local hearing attended by both objectors and supporters it is submitted that the proposed Masterplan has been adequately publicised to the local community and that there are unlikely to be any new issues arising given that the Masterplan has been altered only to the extent of removing a small area of land from its area of assessment and application being ‘in the public domain’ since 2009. The further period of consultation that has taken place over the past 3 weeks on the Council’s website and local press is more than reasonable given that the new Masterplan has been altered only to the extent of removing a small area of land from its area of assessment. I am also aware of the huge groundswell of local public support for this development and also the fact that it strongly accords with Argyll and Bute Council’s Economic Development Action Plan 2010 – 2013.
2. The inclusion of houses, affordable homes, business units and a childcare facility meets the aspirations of Argyll and Bute and contribute towards sustaining a fragile rural economy and grow and retain the population and should be seen as significant planning gain. This application is for an acceptable land use in the context of the area and would deliver increased amenity in the form of business development and opportunities, homes, childcare facilities for a wide catchment area, and the infrastructure proposals in respect of sewage treatment systems and access improvements would unlock the potential of the rest of the PDA in years to come.
3. By designating the PDA, the Council has accepted that the settlement pattern in this part of Glen Fyne will change. In that context, the development of 16 dwellings, 7 commercial units and a childcare community building within a 2 hectare site need not be regarded as excessive. Most of the land surrounding the actual application site is within the Applicant’s control, so there would be no difficulty in imposing conditions requiring the submission and implementation of a strategic landscape plan to assist the assimilation into the countryside. Furthermore, there are no objections from statutory consultees to the development and specific design and bad neighbour concerns can be mitigated by conditions or even a Section 75 agreement at detail stage. Any other issues raised by the consultees, such as water or access, can be adequately addressed by planning conditions. To this extent, I consider appropriate landscaping, design, drainage, water supply, access and background noise conditions can be attached for the development to accord with Policies STRAT SI 1, STRAT DC 1, STRAT HOU 1 of the Argyll and Bute Structure Plan 2002 and to Policies LP ENV 1, LP ENV 10 and LP ENV 19.
I therefore move that the application be approved as being consistent with PDA 9/13 and relevant policies of the Argyll and Bute Local Plan, subject to appropriate conditions to be remitted to Officers in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of the PPSL Committee.
Moved by Councillor Bruce Marshall, seconded by Councillor Vivien Dance.
Councillor Reay advised that having heard the Amendment he would like to withdraw his support for the Motion which was accepted by Councillor Kelly and the Motion fell.
Having established that there were no further amendments, the Amendment became the Motion and the subsequent decision of the Committee.
Agreed to grant planning permission subject to appropriate conditions to be remitted to Officers in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of the PPSL Committee.
(Reference: Report by Head of Planning and Regulatory Services dated 14 September 2011, Supplementary Report 1 dated 20 September 2011, Supplementary Report 2 dated 13 October 2011, Supplementary Report 3 dated 20 October 2011, Supplementary Report 4 dated 2 November 2011, Supplementary Report 5 dated 22 November 2011, submitted and Supplementary Report 6 dated 19 December 2011, tabled)