Residents slam developments
RESIDENTS and neighbours in the Glenshellach area of Oban say the density of housing and people with very few amenities is a ‘deviation from Argyll and Bute Council’s local plan’.
But Argyll and Bute Council said the number of houses were in the housing allocation as part of the development of the area. Residents approached The
Oban Times saying they had believed they had bought or rented their ‘forever’ homes but as the rate of development in the area continues they now believe it is more densely-packed than the guidelines laid down in both Scottish Government legislation and in the local plan.
Robert MacLean, who rents a home on the estate, said: ‘I moved down here into a small house and I was delighted to be in the midst of all these new homes. But as time has gone on, I have stopped living in the country and started living in the middle of a tightly-packed estate.
‘I suppose the traffic zooming through the area has also caused problems.’
Mr MacLean was referring to traffic rerouted through the estate rather than using the top road which was blocked off with large stones some months ago.
Another person, who didn’t want to be named, said: ‘Houses in this area were limited to one-and-a-half storeys, as is the general condition throughout the area.
‘All of a sudden the spaces for houses have now turned into a place for flats that will dominate the landscape and overlook our houses. It seems developers are able to do what they like. To me, it seems that what we have on this side of the road is becoming as densely-packed as the other side of the road in Soroba.
‘The area at Glenshellach is of outstanding natural beauty on a landscape only available once. That landscape is slowly being eroded. ’
A spokesman for Argyll and Bute Council said: ‘A housing needs analysis was carried out and the results showed that more housing is needed in the Oban and Lorn area. As a result, the local development plan (LDP) identified areas throughout Oban and Lorn for housing development, two of which are in this part of Glenshellach.
‘The LDP provides indicative figures of 11 properties in one of these areas and 90 in the other. The council has since received two planning applications for developments in these locations. The first application is for 18 properties – seven over what is identified in the LDP. The second application is for 24 flats; 78 have had planning permission granted – this would result in an increase of 12.
‘The housing provision numbers are indicative and in appropriate circumstances may be varied at the discretion of the planning authority.
‘It is important that people are aware that no decisions have been made and these applications will be subject to our vigorous planning procedures. It is also vital that people know they can have their say on the applications and make their views heard.’
Alastair McGregor, chief executive of ACHA , the organisation making the application for housing, said: ‘ ACHA has built 40 homes for affordable rent in Glenshellach and we are currently building a further 17.
‘The area is zoned for housing development and ACHA is committed to building new homes to meet the pressing housing need in Oban at the present time. The association does not believe its proposals put pressure on amenities or create unreasonable levels of density. The association submits planning applications which we believe are consistent with the local plan, including any reasonable amendments.
‘Oban’s people need accessible, affordable housing and the association will continue with its partners, Argyll and Bute Council and the Scottish Government, to deliver this.’