Lochy­side de­vel­op­ers re­spond to dis­abil­ity panel’s con­cerns

The Oban Times - - News - EL­LIE FORBES eforbes@oban­times.co.uk

DE­VEL­OP­ERS of Lochy­side hous­ing, Bracewell Stir­ling Con­sult­ing, have been in touch with the Lochaber Times in re­sponse to con­cerns raised by the Lochaber Dis­abil­ity Ac­cess Panel.

The panel high­lighted wor­ries, as set out in the Lochaber Times last Thurs­day (April 27), about the ac­ces­si­bil­ity of the pro­posed 60-home de­vel­op­ment on the former Lochy­side de­vel­op­ment.

Part­ner Amanda MacRitchie said: ‘ We were con­tacted by the panel to meet when the ap­pli­ca­tion was lodged.

‘From the com­ments sub­mit­ted, we took the view that the is­sues raised were ad­e­quately ad­dressed by the state­ment at­tached, along with some al­ter­ations to the de­sign which were lodged on March 10 on the plan­ning por­tal.

‘We have wide-rang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in pro­vid­ing hous­ing for par­tic­u­lar needs. We were sat­is­fied that pro­vi­sion within the pro­pos­als for end-users with vary­ing dis­abil­i­ties and needs is in ex­cess of statu­tory re­quire­ments and suit­able flex­i­bil­ity built in to the designs to al­low for fur­ther adap­ta­tion to cater for par­tic­u­lar needs of in­di­vid­u­als, when the oc­cu­piers of the houses are al­lo­cated.

‘ We are ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed that if there are still con­cerns which the panel feel have not been ad­dressed, that they have not con­tacted us fol­low­ing March 10 or made fur­ther com­ment through the plan­ning por­tal, thus we are un­aware of any re­main­ing con­cerns from the panel.

‘We com­mu­ni­cate reg­u­larly with the com­mu­nity and indi- vid­u­als re­gard­ing the pro­pos­als. We are happy to meet the panel should they still have con­cerns and wish to do so.’

But an­gered panel mem­bers re­but­ted the claims, say­ing that they had not had con­tact with the agents since Fe­bru­ary, de­spite sev­eral changes be­ing made to the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion since.

Arthur Cowie from the panel said: ‘I called them [on Fe­bru­ary 16] and was told that un­der no cir­cum­stance they were com­ing to meet with us.

‘They have been non-re­spon­sive to re­quests to meet de­spite us ask­ing Bracewell to dis­cuss a meet­ing with the High­lands Small Com­mu­nity Hous­ing Trust and Lochaber Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion.’

Caol Com­mu­nity Coun­cil vice chair­man John Gille­spie said Ms MacRitchie at­tended three com­mu­nity coun­cil meet­ings and lis­tened to what peo­ple had to say about amend­ments to plans. But re­cently there had been a ‘break­down in com­mu­ni­ca­tion’ be­tween the com­mu­nity and the ar­chi­tects fol­low­ing sev­eral changes to the plans, which the com­mu­nity coun­cil had not been con­sulted on.

Mr Gille­spie said: ‘Bracewell has been good and sent a rep­re­sen­ta­tive who has at­tended three meet­ings. But re­cently there has been a break­down in com­mu­ni­ca­tion. We will be ask­ing them to at­tend our next meet­ing in May.’

Panel mem­ber Colin MacDon­ald said: ‘We need to make sure we build houses that are fit for pur­pose in 50 years’ time. Once the de­mo­li­tion of the school is fin­ished they are go­ing to want to start build­ing right away and we still haven’t met with them. Let’s do it once and get it right first time.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.