People on Islay can look forward to new developments around Bowmore after Argyll and Bute Council’s Planning, Protective Services and Licensing (PPSL) Committee agreed Islay Estate’s strategic masterplan.
The plan identifies areas for 180 new houses as well as two hectares for business development and a further area for community use. The Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) has already built 20 affordable flats as a first development phase, with a planning application currently being considered for ten houses. As the housing developments take shape people will see a variety of housing, from housing stock for the elderly to large family homes, leading to a sustainable, vibrant and mixed community.
The council’s Head of Planning and Regulatory Services, Angus Gilmour, said: ‘’This is really good news for the community in and around Bowmore and also for potential investors in the area. It gives real certainty, with developers knowing what kind of construction is appropriate in which part of the masterplan area and lets the community know exactly how their town will develop. A strategic framework guarantees that the approach to development is right and that the site is developed properly, with each individual project complementing the other and benefitting the wider community.
‘’Masterplans are vital strategy documents which allow sites to be developed in a sensible and sustainable way which benefits both developers and communities. The ACHA development is already going ahead and is very welcome indeed, with another ten houses in the pipeline. In terms of commercial developments, the first phase is planned to the west of Stanalane, closest to the village centre where there is existing access and better connectivity.
‘’The focus of the council’s planning service is on making things happen, supporting sustainable economic growth and regeneration. This is another demonstration of our open for business approach, working with developers to ensure a best fit for all, addressing the challenges of population decline and improving the value offer for residents of Islay.’’
The plan will ensure that any future development is fully integrated with the historic town of Bowmore, with street layouts reflecting the existing road and path routes and providing easy access to the local schools, which lie to the north of the masterplan site.
Commercial development such as offices, tourist accommodation, retail and leisure facilities are indicated to be taken forward in two future phases, creating new employment opportunities.
The current community facilities are underused so there is no requirement in the plan for new ones, although there is provision for allotments. To ensure longer term community benefits, as part of each individual planning application, the council applies conditions whereby the developer provides a commuted sum, usually £1,000 per house, which goes into a fund which can then be used to upgrade existing community facilities.
For further information on the Bowmore masterplan go to the council’s planning portal and quote reference number 15/00236/MPLAN