Eco-tourist accommodation would detract from village setting

A hybrid development of tourist units and co-housing in a woodland on the edge of a village in Argyll and Bute was refused for harm to the character and appearance of the area, highway safety and loss of amenity.

The appeal site sat on a wooded hill forming a backcloth to the nearby village. This setting was critical in the reporter’s deliberations. She considered that despite its intrinsic design quality, the proposed seven accommodation units, community building and parking would be in stark contrast to the established built form in the area and would introduce a scale and design of development that would appear incongruous and to the detriment of the current wooded backcloth to this part of the village.

The reporter also found the location of the site on a steep, tree-lined and narrow road would result in highway safety issues in terms of vehicular and pedestrian access which she could see no clear way of overcoming without detriment to the woodland. The latter was a designated open space protection area and the reporter was not satisfied, from the information submitted with the appeal, that the woodland had the capacity to accommodate the proposed scale of development without fundamental tree damage occurring which would in turn affect the setting of the village, regardless of the fact the trees were not protected themselves. Furthermore, the proposed benefits of the scheme, including a community building and public access to the woodland, were not guaranteed in perpetuity and in any event did not allay the reporter’s concerns regarding the proposal overall. 

Reporter: Allison Coard; Written representations

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