A major planning application to build 300 new affordable houses on the outskirts of Oban has been recommended for approval.
Argyll and Bute Council previously agreed a masterplan for the development at Dunbeg. However, the new detailed application will see the homes built on a “slightly more compact and condensed” site than originally planned.
Officers still believe that the amended proposal is acceptable and have advised the planning committee to grant permission when it meets tomorrow.
The homes are being provided by social rented landlord Link Group. Of the 300, 89 are to be one-bedroom flats; 141 two-bed houses and flats (mostly houses); 67 three-bed houses and flats and 13 four-bed houses.
In a report before councillors, planner David Moore writes: “Economic benefits and potential job creation will also be a potential material consideration in respect of the proposal.
“It has been confirmed that a local building company has been appointed to construct the development. The use of a local and not national builder ensures that economic benefit is likely to be maximised for the local area.”
The report also states that in respect of window-to-window privacy a small number of the homes do not accord with the required privacy standards and room-to-room distances.
Mr Moore comments: “Generally such matters are not acceptable and contrary to good planning and amenity protection. This however represents some five per cent of the overall number of dwellings and mitigation in the form of tree planting to address these conflicts is now proposed.
“On balance, and as a matter of planning judgment it is considered that a minor departure from policy can be accepted in this case given the specific circumstances of the site and masterplan aspirations which have informed the current design approach.”
There is a failure to meet all standards of Scottish Government advice in respect of garden sizes. But officers do not expect this to undermine the overall level of amenity enjoyed by future occupants of the proposed homes, “given the quality and characteristics of the landscape and setting within which the dwellings will be located”.
The report states: “The occupants of these dwellings will enjoy immediate access to beaches, hills and open space within the wider landscape including upgraded footpath links and therefore it is considered that the level of external amenity space enjoyed by residents will be acceptable, notwithstanding the density and compactness of the layout.”
Two letters of objection and one in support of the development have been submitted to the council.