Residents rally to Ann’s house cam­paign

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

A FACE­BOOK page that has been set up in sup­port of a woman who’s on the bit­ter end of a plan­ning mis­take has ac­cu­mu­lated hun­dreds of ‘likes’, writes David McPhee.

More than 200 peo­ple had liked the page, which is ti­tled Con­nel Residents Against Plan­ning Mis­takes, within 72 hours of its in­cep­tion.

It was set up in sup­port of 72-year- old Ann Colthart, from Con­nel, af­ter houses were built nine me­tres away from her prop­erty when guide­lines state they must be at least 18 me­tres.

The mis­take was made dur­ing the plan­ning stage when Mrs Colthart’s 28msq ex­ten­sion, which has been there for 14 years, wasn’t in­cluded in the plans.

The de­vel­oper has since ap­plied for plan­ning per­mis­sion to up­grade some as­pects of the houses in or­der to im­prove the sit­u­a­tion.

The ap­pli­ca­tion re­ceived 50 ob­jec­tions. How­ever, at a plan­ning hear­ing last week, Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil voted to ap­prove the adap­ta­tions.

These in­clude re­mov­ing the first floor win­dows and re­place them with wooden cladding; se­cur­ing and frost­ing the ground-floor win­dows so they can­not be opened or seen through; and plac­ing a hedge be­tween the houses.

The so­cial me­dia page will serve as an ar­chive of news cov­er­age, while pro­vid­ing a plat­form for peo­ple to stay up to date and to voice their opin­ions.

Un­der a post that high­lights the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to ac­cept the adap­ta­tions, one com­menter, Kath­leen Fer­gu­son, said: ‘ How in heaven’s name things have got to this stage beats me.

‘ There is some­thing very un­savoury about the whole busi­ness. Any com­pe­tent builder would have surely queried the prox­im­ity to Ann’s prop­erty when the foun­da­tions were laid, re­gard­less of plan­ning de­ci­sion.

‘ The fight must con­tinue and the rot­ten ap­ples ex­posed.’

Ann Colthart: com­mu­nity has ral­lied be­hind her.

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