PLANS have been unveiled for an unusual development of small new homes in the centre of Kilcreggan.

Proposals for a hillside site at Ferry Brae were presented to members of Cove and Kilcreggan Community Council last week.

Andy Whyte from Lucid Architecture, the firm behind the plans, which also owns the site, said the company viewed its proposal as “an example project” which was “more than just your average small development”.

The plans comprise seven small properties, potentially suitable as holiday accommodation, second homes or studio space for artists, along with a communal space for occupants.

All the houses are depicted in the plans as standing on 'pilotis' – columns or stilts that lift a building above the ground or water.

Mr Whyte described the properties as “something between a caravan and a house”.

The residential properties, with a footprint of either 40 or 60 square metres, would feature one or two bedrooms on the upper level and an open-plan dining, kitchen and living space on the lower level.

Also featured on the plans is a public footpath through the site – something currently missing from the steep descent into the village on the B833 from Rosneath.

Community councillors and members of the public raised questions about drainage of the site, vehicular access, the materials to be used in building the properties, and whether the buildings would be able to withstand the strong southerly and south-westerly winds that are such a feature of the Clyde in the winter.

Questioned on the likely cost of the properties, Mr Whyte said they would be “ideally below £100,000”, but that the company had yet to determine the exact “middle ground” below which the project would cease to become viable.

Mr Whyte, whose firm first took an interest in Kilcreggan when it participated in a seafront design competition for the village some years ago, said: “We've been looking at development ideas for a little over a year now. We wanted to take our time to come up with good ideas and good quality designs.

“We feel there's a much nicer project here than 'normal' developer housing. The units we're hoping to create would have great flexibility – they could be used as visitor accommodation, second homes or studio space. We want to know what people think would work.

“There is an active community here of young people and people who do interesting jobs. Elsewhere on the west coast communities are struggling because there aren't enough people living there and they're reliant only on tourists, but it's not like that here.”

Planning permission for the development has not yet been sought, but Mr Whyte said that Argyll and Bute Council planners had been "moderately positive" so far.

After the question-and-answer session which followed the presentation, Nick Davies, the community council's convener, said: “There seems no strong opposition to this. What you've said certainly has generated interest, and some warmth, around the table.

“It's a nasty road, and while sightlines could be quite good, I wouldn't relish turning right [out of the site' without some extreme care.

“But the idea of a pathway that gets pedestrians off that road is great, because it's a very dangerous road to walk up.

“I think we would welcome anything that is sympathetic to the environment and brings people into the community. And it's really nice to see a development that isn't executive houses.”