Plans for a detached garden room at a Crinan house will be decided at a public hearing, councillors have decided.
Richard Stein’s proposal for the site at Eilean Da Mheinn has attracted a total of 126 comments to Argyll and Bute Council, with a supplementary report indicating 64 are objections, 59 are in support, and three are neutral.
A councillor also told a meeting that she had received 12 objections by email since the previous evening, ahead of a decision being made to take the application to a hearing.
The discussion took place at a meeting of the council’s planning, protective services and licensing committee, where the plans were the only item on the agenda, on Wednesday, October 19.
Mid Argyll SNP councillor Jan Brown said: “I have received numerous emails – 12 since last night. Due to the number of objections, I would prefer to have a site visit and hold a hearing.”
Councillors Mark Irvine, Independent, Lomond North and Fiona Howard, Labour, Helensburgh Central immediately agreed with Cllr Brown’s position.
Councillor Paul Kennedy, Liberal Democrat, Helensburgh and Lomond South then said: “I would not be able to attend a site visit anyway, but I would like to see pictures that demonstrate what is there right now, rather than delaying the matter.
“I cannot see any particular benefit from visiting the place, which will take in a lot of expense and delay.”
Councillor John Armour, SNP, South Kintyre responded: “The expense of going to a site for a hearing should not come into consideration.
“If we need to attend a hearing, that is what we need to do. Cost should be immaterial.
“We need to ensure we have all the facts for this application and if a site visit needs to take place, we need to do that.
“If it takes up costs or time, so be it. Every application should be treated exactly the same.
“We should not discriminate because it is going to take time and expense. I really feel very strongly about that.”
Councillor Liz McCabe, Independent, Isle of Bute, agreed with Councillor Armour and said: “We have got about 20 photos sent to us in the pre-presentation we got regarding the application.”
Councillor Brown then submitted a motion to hold a site visit and hearing, which was seconded by Councillor Irvine and unanimously agreed.
The committee’s chair, Councillor Keiron Green, Independent, Oban North and Lorn, also had it confirmed that it would be possible for the hearing to take place on a hybrid basis in the council’s Kilmory headquarters in Lochgilphead.
A date for the hearing will be set in due course.