Argyle and Bott say plans for Rowe’s house should now be approved

A proposal to build a new residential home on the grounds of Torwood House in Rhu was initially recommended for rejection by Argyll and Bute Council planners in June.

Officers expressed concerns that Torwoodhill Road would not be able to accommodate the expected volume of traffic if planning permission was granted.

The application also attracted 13 objections from members of the public.

However, members of the Authority’s Planning, Protective Services and Licensing (PPSL) Committee agreed to defer a decision to allow the applicant, Mr D. Higgins, by showing that the fears are unfounded.

The matter will now come before the committee at its meeting on Wednesday 20 September with a recommendation to approve planning permission.

“Members will recall that the officers’ report, in relation to the above proposal, was published as part of the PPSL committee agenda on 21 June,” an officer said in a report.

“The officer’s recommendation at the time of publication was to reject the application on the basis that the public road system is inadequate to accommodate the resulting traffic condensation.

“At the time of publishing this report, officers considered that the applicant had not demonstrated to the satisfaction of the planning authority that proportionate improvements could be implemented as part of the development, in order to address the existing restrictions on road access as set out in the consultation response from the council area roads engineer.

“Members will recognize that the proposed development has been deemed acceptable by officials in relation to all other physical planning considerations (except the access system).

“However, members agreed to defer action on this application to allow the applicant the opportunity to prepare and submit further details to demonstrate that there are no restrictions on the implementation of an agreed scheme for proportionate off-site road improvements, according to the officials’ recommendation.”

Torwood House itself dates from the early 19th century and is a Grade C listed building.

Although built as a single residence, Torwood House has since been divided into five apartments.

The officer added: “In addition to postponing the formal decision at the June meeting of the PPSL committee, the applicant has since submitted a further plan outlining the position of two traffic spaces on the northern side of Torwoodhill Road; one by planning access to the service area at the intersection of the proposed private lane and road. Public, the other is to form a new traffic space on the north side of the public road midway on that part of Torwoodhiil Road between the proposed new access and the junction with the upper Torwoodhill Road.

“The Applicant has also confirmed that the Applicant has control of the land outside the application site required to carry out the off-site road improvements as shown in the drawing above.

“The District Roads Engineer re-evaluated this proposal on the basis of the additional information provided and issued a revised advisory on this basis that the proposed off-site road improvements (providing two passing spaces) would address previous concerns about the design capacity of the public road to accommodate the traffic density generated by the proposed new dwelling.

“On this basis, officers are satisfied that the applicant has the necessary control to carry out the off-site road improvements. This could be secured by a suspensive clause.”

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