Iona glamp­ing pods given go ahead

The Oban Times - - News -

TEN GLAMP­ING pods on the Isle of Iona have been given plan­ning per­mis­sion by Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil.

The ap­pli­ca­tion, sub­mit­ted by Glen MacDon­ald of Iona, pro­posed ‘camp­ing fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing 10 glamp­ing pods with as­so­ci­ated ex­ter­nal decks’, plus a ser­vices build­ing, sep­tic tank and new ve­hi­cle ac­cess on land south of Bish­ops Walk.

One sup­porter from Fion­nphort hailed the ‘sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in tourism de­vel­op­ment for Iona and the Ross of Mull’ and the im­por­tance of ‘di­ver­si­fy­ing the range of ac­com­mo­da­tion for vis­i­tors on mod­est bud­gets’.

One ob­jec­tor, how­ever, while not against ‘the prin­ci­pal of the camp­site’, ar­gued this pro­posal would be ‘detri­men­tal’.

‘Iona is a very spe­cial is­land,’ he said, ‘and any new build­ings should be care­fully con­sid­ered, more so than many other places.’

The ‘closely packed’, ‘off-theshelf pre-fab­ri­cated tim­ber units’, he added, ‘ will give the im­pres­sion of a hol­i­day park. They have very lit­tle ar­chi­tec­tural merit and bear no re­sem­blance to the ar­chi­tec­tural qual­ity of the is­land. It will be vis­i­ble from the abbey grounds.

‘I would ques­tion the re­quire­ment for 10 of these pods, which seems an over- de­vel­op­ment.’

His­toric Scot­land said the site ‘should have a rel­a­tively low, un­ob­tru­sive pro­file in the land­scape’ and that it lies ‘200m away from the most sig­nif­i­cant views’ from Iona Abbey.

The Na­tional Trust for Scot­land ‘recog­nise[d] the need and wel­come[d] sus­tain­able busi­ness pro­pos­als that will help sup­port the is­land econ­omy’.

How­ever it called for an area ca­pac­ity eval­u­a­tion to as­sess the ca­pac­ity of the land­scape to ab­sorb the ‘ medium-sized de­vel­op­ment’.

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