Plans to turn ‘eye­sore’ former pub into flats ap­proved

The Oban Times - - News -

THE LOCHABER Bar on Kil­mallie Road is to be turned into three, two-bed­room flats af­ter the owner of the former pub last week had plan­ning per­mis­sion granted by High­land Coun­cil.

Plan­ning was first sought in 2015, when sup­port for the flats was mixed. A pe­ti­tion, ‘Stop Lochaber Bar be­com­ing flats’, was started and signed by more than 160 peo­ple with many call­ing for the pub, next to the Co- op and Sammy’s fish and chip shop, to be brought back to life af­ter be­ing out of use for six or seven years.

Caol Com­mu­nity Coun­cil raised a sim­i­lar point at the time. In its com­ments to the plan­ning com­mit­tee, it said: ‘It was a great bar and could be again. It is im­por­tant to keep so­cial fa­cil­i­ties such as this avail­able to the com­mu­nity.’

The com­mu­nity coun­cil also raised con­cerns about a loss of com­mer­cial space from the vil­lage square and park­ing in what is an al­ready busy car park. One Caol res­i­dent told the Lochaber

Times: ‘Park­ing for the Co- op is al­ready ter­ri­ble so the loss of spa­ces will im­pact heav­ily on that. Park­ing in the bus stops will be­come the norm and in the ac­cess road for the houses op­po­site.’

But the coun­cil has stip­u­lated there must be a min­i­mum of five car park­ing spa­ces for res­i­dents.

The com­mu­nity coun­cil says its views on the ap­pli­ca­tion have not changed. It will hold its next meet­ing on Mon­day April 10 at 6.30pm in Caol Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

Caol and Mal­laig coun­cil­lor Ben Thomp­son said: ‘We have a hous­ing is­sue but th­ese flats are in a re­ally awk­ward lo­ca­tion. The feed­back I have had from peo­ple is, yes it’s an eye­sore, let’s sort it, but why can’t it be used com­mer­cially. I would like it to be used com­mer­cially be­cause I think that makes sense, but it’s pri­vate prop­erty.’

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