Plans for a detached garden room in Crinan have been given the go-ahead after a public hearing by councillors.
Richard Stein’s proposal to build the facility at Eilean Da Mheinn, Harbour Island, attracted 59 expressions of support and 71 objections.
An objector who spoke at the public hearing stated his view that the plans did not tie in with the policies of Argyll and Bute Council’s local development plan and would set a precedent.
But only one of seven councillors who took part in the hearing was minded to refuse the application, which was awarded planning permission.
The hearing involving the council’s planning, protective services and licensing committee took place on Friday, December 9.
Speaking in support of his application, Mr Stein said: “Whatever disagreements we have with objectors, we all care passionately for our environment and we think we are doing that.
“We propose a small timber building, which is not overlooked, is hidden among trees and is designed to be suitable for the woodland location.
“When we applied for permission to extend the house, there was no objection, so when we applied to do what we thought was a very minor development, we were surprised to receive so many objections.
“There would be no trees affected in the construction and we have moved slightly to avoid a very nice tree in the corner. There will be no impact on the national scenic area.”
Crinan resident Alexi Murdoch was the only objector to speak at the meeting, and stated his view that the development was prohibited by policy of the Local Development Plan.
He said: “I sympathise with anybody who has gone to see the site, and with the applicant. Nobody is contesting the design or what it is intended for.
“The Local Development Plan has been designed very carefully to ensure that the landscape of Argyll and Bute is protected now and for future generations.
“Although the building is proposed as a room, it is a building requiring concrete foundations in a glen with essentially nothing in it. There is some kind of ruin but we are talking about a glen in a very sensitive countryside.”
Council planning officers had previously stated in a report that the proposal was deemed compliant with Local Development Plan conditions.
During debate among councillors, Isle of Bute Independent councillor Liz McCabe, the area’s depute provost, stated that she could not support the application.
She said: “I feel we would be setting a precedent. People could extend the curtilage and apply to build again. It [the proposed garden room] is 100 yards away from the house, and I am not of the opinion it should be granted.”
However, all other councillors taking part disagreed, with Oban North and Lorn independent councillor Kieron Green, the committee’s chair, saying: “Having listened to all the arguments today, and seen the presentations, I am minded to go with the planners’ recommendations.
“I think I perceive the development to be relatively small scale and unobtrusive, and I do not have any problems with it.”
The motion to grant planning permission was agreed, with councillor McCabe submitting no amendment.
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