Postscript to hearing on Ardfern planning application

The Discretionary Hearing by Argyll and Bute Council’s Planning Committee on the planning application from the General Trustees of the Church of Scotland for The Glebe in Ardfern, was held in Craignish Village Hall on Monday 17th June.

The proposal is for 6 fully funded affordable housing units and five plots to be sold into the private sector with planning permission.

Our account of the main session is here – but when the decision was given [to continue the matter until the August meeting of the Planning Committee, to give the General Trustees a chance to submit the amended plans] both supporters and objectors were given the opportunity to respond to it.

At this point, Paul Houghton, the hapless and unfocused consultant representing the applicant, the General Trustees, had one last ham-fist to slop into the mix.

He said that he could not guarantee that his client would be prepared to submit amended plans.

No doubt he imagined that this was playing hardball  – you have to laugh; but it only served to underline the point of Councillor Robin Currie’s sharp earlier observation that the applicant appeared not to have grasped the importance of the hearing.

In point of fact it is extremely unlikely that the General Trustees would not be happy to submit amended plans, since work has already been doe on these and been seen by the planners.

One can only hope that this time the General Trustees understand the value of prior discussion with the planners; and it would make sense to consult with the competent community residents who were concerned at the absence of design detail and open space in the plans in front of Monday’s hearing.

Councillor Mary Jean Devon’s sequence of questions to planners, applicant and objectors – which is recorded in the article linked above – whose answers established the clearance of obstacles from the road ahead.

This will be welcomed by all concerned in a community that will be glad to put the divisiveness of this matter behind it.

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