Son fighting to save dementia-stricken father’s ‘cottage’

John Campbell transformed a caravan into a cottage for his 80-year-old father.

Son fighting to save dementia-stricken father’s ‘cottage’ LDRS

A son who transformed a caravan into a cottage for his dementia-stricken father is fighting to save the home after permission was refused over fears it would ‘fracture’ the green belt. 

John Campbell moved the 80-year-old into the accommodation in his garden during lockdown after he went missing from sheltered flats.

The elderly man was found wandering through a village, so Mr Campbell decided to buy the static caravan to keep him safe.

Believing the caravan refit didn’t need planning permission due to its small size, he put on a new pitched roof, added double-glazing and covered the structure in roughcast. 

However, Glasgow City Council has launched an enforcement case as it was erected without planning approval during lockdown last year. 

Mr Campbell has lodged an appeal to keep the property in the grounds of his garden at Kittoch Mill, Busby Road, near Carmunnock on the edge of Glasgow. 

Mr Campbell said in a supporting statement to the council: “The advantage of a static caravan was the speed in which it could be made habitable and safe for my father.”

The resident said he had tried to contact the council’s planning department for advice but it was not available due to lockdown.

A review statement from his agent said: “If this appeal is refused and the resulting enforcement action seen through then an 80-year-old man suffering from dementia will be forced to move from his bespoke home to alternate accommodation.”

The statement from McMorran Architects pointed out it seemed “extraordinary” that if the building was used as a summerhouse “then there would not have been any issues”.

It said: “If a bed is put in there and someone lives there then that same-size building is deemed as having a detrimental effect to the green network and Site of Importance for Nature Conservation.”

The council refused the retrospective application for a number of reasons, including that it did not accord with development plan rules. It was also seen as contrary to green belt and ‘green network’ guidance policies, which protect open spaces. 

The council said: “Though this is a small proposal, it is considered to have a fragmenting effect on the Green Network.”

The appeal was continued at the Planning Local Review Committee meeting on Tuesday.

Councillors requested more information on the historical environment of the location where the cottage has been erected.

By local democracy reporter Sarah Hilley

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