Agendas, reports and minutes

North Planning Applications Committee

Date: Thursday, 18 April 2019

Minutes: Read the Minutes

Minute of the site visit and meeting of the North Planning Applications Committee held on site at 4 Wood Park, Dunvegan Road, Portree and thereafter at Portree High School, Viewfield Road, Portree, IV61 9ET on Thursday 18 April 2019 at 11.15 am and 1.00 pm respectively. 

Committee Members Present:

Mrs I Campbell, Mr C Fraser, Mr J Gordon, Mr D MacKay, Mrs M Paterson, Ms M Smith and Mr A Mackinnon (substitute for Mrs A MacLean).  

Officials in attendance:

Mr M Harvey, Team Leader
Mrs E McArthur, Principal Planner
Ms A Harvey, Planner
Mrs K Lyons, Principal Solicitor – Planning and Clerk
Mrs A MacArthur, Administrative Assistant


Ms Maxine Smith in the Chair

The Chair confirmed that the meeting would not be webcast.   

1.  Apologies

Apologies for absence were received from Mr R Bremner, Ms K Currie, Mr M Finlayson, Mr R Gale, Mrs A MacLean, Mr C MacLeod, Mr D MacLeod, Mr K Rosie and Mr A Sinclair.

2.  Declarations of Interest
Foillseachaidhean Com-pàirt

There were no declarations of interest.  

3.  Planning Applications to be Determined
Iarrtasan Dealbhaidh rin Dearbhadh

3.1 Applicant: The Highland Council (18/04459/FUL) (PLN/020/19)
Location: Land 70 m SW of 4 Wood Park, Dunvegan Road, Portree (Ward 10).
Nature of Development: Erection of 15 residential units.
Recommendation: Grant. 

There had been re-circulated Report No PLN/020/19 by the Acting Head of Development Management - Highland recommending that the Committee grant the application subject to the conditions detailed in the report. 

The Committee visited the site and the planning officer spoke to the Report and pointed out physical features relevant to the application and those representing the Applicant and Objectors were given the opportunity to point out physical features relevant to the application. 

At the start of the meeting Mr J Gordon clarified that the objectors A and M Gordon were not related to him and he had therefore not declared an interest.

The Planning Officer responded to Members’ questions as follows:

  • it was clarified that although a different SUDS system had been described on site by the proposed developer, this was not part of the application and the SUDS outlined in the report was what was to be considered;
  • clarity was given on the access to the site, the level of the site would be raised to enable access from the road;
  • the access to the existing house would be repositioned and widened utilising land in the Council’s ownership;
  • the use of a floating road would enable a road to be built over the peat negating the need to remove large amounts of peat; and
  • the West Highland and Islands Local Plan and the Proposed West Highland and Islands Local Development Plan had zoned this area for housing.

The Clerk advised that the land had been purchased by the Council but that the land had not been purchased using a compulsory purchase order.  Unfortunately, it appeared that having already sold the land to the Council, the former owner then transferred part of the application site a second time. Two competing titles to the same land have been registered and the Keeper of the Registers has acknowledged that there is a manifest inaccuracy in the title that was registered after the Council’s title.  The Council, as the landowner, will need to sort out the title issues, and the planning committee’s role was to consider the planning application.  Legal matters are not a material planning consideration.

During discussion, Members’ comments included the following:-

  • the proposed access to the site was dangerous;
  • a large amount of peat would require to be removed;
  • if houses 9 and 10 on the plan were removed, access could be taken via the existing access and negating the need for another access off Dunvegan road;
  • difficult to believe that the access had been deemed acceptable by Transport Scotland and our transport officers;
  • the development planned too many houses for this small portion of land; and
  • the need for social housing was high, especially in Portree, but this development was not acceptable. 

Ms M Smith, seconded by Mr J Gordon, MOVED refusal of the application.   

Reason: After taking all relevant matters into account and while acknowledging that housing development at the site would accord with the allocation in the local development plan, Members considered that the proposed development would be detrimental in terms of siting, design and visual impact. Members considered that the proposal would be overdevelopment of the site which would be detrimental to the residential amenity of the occupants of properties adjacent to the site and to the amenity of the clients of Am Fasgadh Drop In Centre. In addition, Members expressed road safety concerns related to the proposed new junction into the site.    

The Committee AGREED to REFUSE planning permission for the reasons stated.

The meeting closed at 1.50 pm.