District News, May 13 2022

Plans for a house to be built in Portnahaven have been granted permission.
Plans for a house to be built in Portnahaven have been granted permission.

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Former pool to be replaced by holiday cabins

Two lodges are set to replace a derelict former swimming pool building at a hotel near Tarbert after planning permission was granted by council chiefs.

Overview Investments made the proposal to Argyll and Bute Council for a site within the grounds of Stonefield Castle Hotel to provide more tourism accommodation.

No objections were lodged by statutory consultees and no members of the public registered comments with the council.

A planning officer from the authority said that the site would be accessed via the hotel’s own private road off the A83. The two cabins will be single-storey.

The planning officer said: ‘The application site falls within a Rural Opportunity Area where policy of the adopted Argyll and Bute Local Development Plan (LDP) 2015 encourages sustainable forms of up to small-scale developments on appropriate sites including the open countryside as well as small scale infill, rounding-off, redevelopment and change of use of existing buildings.

‘Given the current land use of the application site and wider land ownership, the proposal would also be assessed against [policies] which generally encourages development which will support the local tourism economy, provided that the development complies with all other relevant policies.

‘The proposed site, though outwith both a national scenic area and areas of panoramic quality designations, is located in a historically and culturally sensitive vicinity where it is contained by various listed buildings and designated garden and designed landscape.

‘The proposed single-storey structures will be wood clad and located on the edge of woodland. They will replace an existing derelict building and hard surfaced area.

‘While the proposal incorporates the removal of some four trees, it is understood that this is not an action to enable the proposed development.

‘The trees have been assessed as defective with the tree survey submitted in support of the proposal and, as such, their removal would be required regardless of the development.’

The officer added: ‘The application is considered acceptable in that the proposed demolition and replacement holiday cabins constitutes small-scale development and is consistent with the Rural Opportunity Area requirement.

‘It would not pose adverse impact on the setting of the listed buildings, the designated garden and designed landscape, ancient woodland inventory nor the wider natural environment where it is located.

‘Additionally, there are no access or infrastructural constraints that would impede the proposed development on application site.’

The hotel’s old swimming pool will be replaced by holiday lodges


Plans for Portnahaven house approved

Plans for a house to be built on the Islay have been given the go-ahead by council chiefs.

Eric Merrall submitted the plans to Argyll and Bute Council for the property and a detached garage to be sited on land west of 1 Claddach at Portnahaven.

No representations were received from the public and no statutory consultees raised any objections, with council planning officers deciding to grant permission.

A planning officer said: ‘The ground floor extended central area has the dining/kitchen and utility areas with the living area to the west and a bedroom to the east.

‘The upper floor is for two further bedrooms, utility and storage, the void above the dining room and loft space. The principle elevation is to the south and includes the main fenestration including the A-frame for the dining area.

‘The plot is within the curtilage of the farm steading and takes up part of an existing hardstanding/yard area. The site is covered by the SSSI [sites of special specific interest] and SPA [special protection area] but is not deemed by consultees to be a threat to habitats.

‘The development of the plot is not removing any corncrake habitat, or corridors to good habitat. The plot includes a small area of designated land therefore thought needs to be given to biodiversity impacts.

‘RSPB Scotland advises that this development is unlikely to have a significant effect on the SPA or SSSI although it is noted that corncrake are on the decline and that mitigation through management of wider habitat in the locale would be appropriate however such mitigation measures would lie outwith the scope of the current application.’

The officer added: ‘The proposal will not give rise to any material planning considerations which would support a recommendation other than approval of an application which accords with the Local Development Plan policy and relevant guidance.’