District News, May 14 2021

The abandoned caravan on the Skipness road with Arran in the background.

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Abandoned caravans blight beauty spots

The road between Kennacraig and Skipness has to be one of the most scenic in the region, with stunning views across Arran to the east and Jura on the western side – yet the view may not be the first thing visitors see.

Concerned residents have complained about two old caravans which have apparently been abandoned or fly-tipped at the roadside – one on the shore near Skipness and the other on the B842 high road from Kennacraig.

One lady said she failed to understand the ‘inconsiderate people who fly-tip caravans at beauty spots’.

She added: ‘I have contacted the council and I believe many have contacted them before. The one on the shore has been there for more than a year, but the caravan on the high road has been left there as no-one overlooks that spot.’

A spokesperson for Argyll and Bute Council said: ‘We remove anything on council property and if any of the areas identified are private land it is the responsibility of the owner or occupier to act.

‘We will make sure they are notified, work with them to have items removed and do what we can to identify the offender.

‘The fixed penalty notice for fly tipping is £200. If it is not paid, prosecution could result in a fine of up to £40,000. We all have to play a part in keeping our communities free of rubbish by using the many waste and recycling centres we have in Argyll and Bute.

‘We are committed to ensuring public spaces in Argyll and Bute are maintained to a high standard and ask that any fly-tipping is reported to us either online at www.argyll-bute.gov.uk or by calling 01546 605514.’


Island byre to be converted into accommodation

Plans to convert a byre into living accommodation on Islay have been given the go-ahead by council chiefs.

The proposals by Simon Coughlin for the site at Brookfield House in Portnahaven were submitted to Argyll and Bute Council in February.

And with no objections received from the public, council planning officers have granted planning permission.

An officer said in a holding report that the plans involved converting the barn into a one bedroom, one and a half storey annexe to the main house.

They said: ‘The westerly elevation will have full height glazing/doors to the main habitable rooms. The land to the west is within the settlement boundary but has no housing allocation.

‘It is therefore not deemed there will be neighbouring amenity issues regarding the proposal.

‘The northerly elevation will have gable height glazing to the living room and the mezzanine void space. The bedroom/en-suite and office is served by rooflights.

‘There will be a porch to the west for utility reasons which will have a sloping roof to the eaves. The main roof is to be traditional slate with the walls re-using the stone. There is a single door on the easterly elevation and a chimney for the stove on that roof elevation.

‘A condition will be attached to any approval regarding the materials to be used. The design maintains the vernacular of the former byre and is deemed to be sympathetic to the main house and its setting as a listed building.’

The officer added: ‘According to Scottish Water, there is no public waste water infrastructure within the vicinity of this proposed development and therefore advise the applicant to investigate private treatment options. The proposal can be fed from the Port Charlotte water works.

‘The council’s roads department highlights that the use of the existing private access to main road is acceptable.

‘The proposal is deemed to be an acceptable repurposing of an appropriate vacant building within an existing community and using existing infrastructure. It is also consistent with the council’s aim to reverse static or falling populations in a smaller rural community.’