Decision day looms for housing plan
A DECISION is due on Monday whether to build 24 flats and 12 houses in Oban’s Glenshellach estate.
Argyll and Bute Council’s planning committee is holding a local hearing in the Parish Church Hall on Glencruitten Road at 11.30am on November 14 to hear arguments for and against it granting planning consent.
Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) has applied to build 12 more houses by Hayfield, beside its four flats and 13 houses there, with six more units expected in a future application. The plan received no letters of support and 43 objections, mostly from local addresses, arguing the extra 18 dwellings would exceed the allocation set out in the Local Development Plan (LDP).
ACHA also plans to build 24 affordable flats, in two three-storey blocks of 12, in its final phase of a development west of Catalina Avenue. The application attracted no letters of support and 54 objections, citing the site’s overdevelopment, and the ‘inappropriate’ scale this ‘pair of sentry boxes’, high above other houses. So far 78 dwellings have been granted permission, bringing the total to 102 – above the 90 units allocated in the LDP.
The new buildings were discussed at Oban Community Council in the Rockfield Centre on Monday October 31, when community councillor Duncan Martin deemed the designs ‘uninspiring’, and he urged ACHA to look at ‘examples of inspiring social housing’.
Councillor Roddy McCuish, who sits on Argyll and Bute Council’s Planning Protective Services and Licencing committee (PPSL), replied: ‘If I did not have a house, I would take one – inspiring or uninspiring.’
Councillor Kieron Green agreed, arguing the developments are intended ‘to house people at a low cost, not to win awards: it is affordable housing.
‘Often people who complain about the view being changed were the first houses there that changed the landscape.’
If people wanted a good view in perpetuity, he advised, ‘do not buy a house on the edge of the town’.
An artist’s impression of how the development might look.