Agenda item


Report by Head of Planning, and Regulatory Services


At the PPSL Committee on 23 November 2011, following a Hearing in the Queen’s Hall, Dunoon on 9 November 2011, Members resolved to continue determination of this application for additional flood risk information to be submitted for consideration.  The Development Manager spoke to the terms of supplementary report number 4 which confirmed receipt of further flood risk information from Dougal Baillie and responses from the Council’s Flood Risk Management and SEPA.  The report also referred to a letter of objection from GVA Grimley Ltd on behalf of Morrisons, further objections from James Barr/Kaya regarding flood risk issues and a letter of support from the Old Men’s Club, Dunoon.  The Development Manager also referred to supplementary report number 5 which was tabled at the meeting and confirmed receipt of further supporting information from the Applicants in response to matters raised at the Hearing, in the press and from objectors and a copy of this was circulated to Members. The Development Manager recommended that planning permission be approved as per the original report.




That planning permission be approved subject to the conditions and reasons detailed in the Planner’s original report dated 7 September 2011.


Moved by Councillor Daniel Kelly, seconded by Councillor Donald MacMillan.




·         Having read all the reports and listened closely to the debate at the hearing and weighing up the sometimes competing professional opinion on technical matters such as parking, flooding and land contamination I am unconvinced that the National Grid Site is either large enough or operationally viable to construct a modern supermarket of the scale as proposed.  Whilst I acknowledge this is an ‘in principle’ application the attachment of no less than 27 conditions casts significant doubt over the deliverability and viability of the site and all of the technical matters could manifest into significant or ‘show stopping hurdle’ at which point more advantageous sites will have been lost from the area altogether. 

·         Firstly, taking a precautionary principle approach in terms of climate change and additional rainfall and frequency of storm which increase the occasions when the West of Scotland is susceptible to flooding and associated damage, I do not agree that the site can deliver the size of store shown on the indicative plans and still have enough of the site to deliver the compensatory flood storage required.   This development will increase the flood risk to other properties on the opposite bank of the burn and to properties downstream of the site.  The applicant does not address these issues or whether any measures would be needed to protect the channel bed or opposite bank.   The flood level estimates have been revised and the floodplain storage lost will have increased, but not the size of the compensatory flood storage area.  Whilst I acknowledge the comments of both SEPA and Council’s own engineer into the matter, which have been challenged by other professional experts particularly in respect of consistency of approach, I side with the professional opinion of Kaya Consulting and remain unsatisfied that matter is or can be resolved.  The development is therefore contrary to the PPS, Strat DC10, LP SERV 8 and LP ENV1(D)  in that it increases the risk to other land and property as it occupies the functional flood plain and the plans submitted do not give me comfort that this development will mitigate these risks. 


·        Secondly, the parking provision and emphasis on this being a linked trip function site by officers concerns me greatly.  Paragraph 1.9 of Appendix C of the Local Plan rightly expects that more parking should be provided where the car parking has a link to town centre shopping and parking.  My interpretation is that the parking provision falls short of minimum requirements or is at the lower end of requirements and does not befit a modern supermarket that serves a dispersed and rural community such as the Cowal peninsula where there is a greater reliance on private cars.  To this extent, I consider the application to be contrary to Policy LP TRAN 6 and Appendix C of the Local Plan. 


·        Thirdly, I consider the proposal to be contrary to policy LP ENV 19 in that the density and layout of the building is inappropriate and represents overdevelopment of the site.  The impact of this development in respect of its size, its location, its prominence and its relationship with the surrounding environment, including open space, renders it incompatible in that it fails to make a positive contribution to the area. 


·        I consider that the applicant has failed and cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that the site is free from technical impediments and therefore is not a viable site for retail for the people of Dunoon especially when more attractive offers are on the table.  This site does not offer the best option and fails to maximise the potential for retail opportunities across the spectrum of food, non food and fuel to serve the Dunoon population and ensure the economic vibrancy and sustainability of a rural town.  The plan for this site lacks vision and is a “shoe in” development, compressed to meet the needs of the applicant as to what can be fitted on site rather than what would best meet the aspirational retail needs of Dunoon and Cowal and as such is contrary to LP RET 1 in that it does not meet the sequential test.


·        With this in mind, and mindful of the requirements laid down to decision makers in SPP1,  contrary to Officers’ recommendation I propose an amendment that the application be refused for the reasoning stated above. 


Moved by Councillor Vivien Dance, seconded by Councillor Mary Jean Devon.




The Amendment was carried by 7 votes to 4 and the Committee resolved accordingly.


(Reference: Report by Head of Planning and Regulatory Services dated 7 September 2011, Supplementary Report 1 dated 20 September 2011, Supplementary Report 2 dated 8 November 2011, Supplementary Report 3 dated 16 November 2011, Supplementary Report 4 dated 15 December 2011, submitted and Supplementary Report 5 dated 20 December 2011, tabled)

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