Uncertainty Caused by Development Plan Changes

housing allocationA number of Scarinish residents received letters recently from Argyll & Bute’s Planning Department informing them of changes to the Local Development Plan, and specifically a proposal for development on Pier Road, Scarinish.The letter notes that this area has been identified for a development of up to 40 houses with a minimum of 25% ‘affordable’.

The rumour mill has been going strong, and this week The Editor has heard that there is going to be ‘a new Tank Farm’ and that ‘this must be a behind the scenes move by SPR for housing during the construction of the Tiree Array’. Neither of these are true! The Editor has had in depth discussions with the Planning Department this week to get to the bottom of this. To put it simply, the current Local Development Plan identifies two areas for development. The first was a Housing Allocation (the Tank Farm) and the second was a Potential Development Area (PDA) for housing. The new proposals simply identify the fact that the original Housing Allocation area, the Tank Farm, is now ‘developed out’ – in other words, full – hence the deletion of that area in the proposed plans. The second area, shown on the map as PDA7/2, was always identified with housing in mind, and the conversion of this to a Housing Allocation means that it is now formally identified as the location for housing should a future need be demonstrated.

A statement from Argyll & Bute Council’s Planning Department states:- “Sites afforded allocation status must be considered to be implementable and effective, with no significant impediment. Development of the site would require planning permission (there is none at present) and such an application could be submitted at any time. While the site’s status is proposed to be altered in the LDP, this does not change the fact that the current LDP already designates the site for housing development.”

The truth then is a simple one. An area currently identified for possible housing has now been formally identified for housing should there be a demonstrable need. It is really just a bureaucratic exercise, and certainly DOES NOT MEAN THAT A NEW TANK FARM IS IMMINENT.

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