COUNCILLORS have backed a proposal to pursue a hotel and housing development for Arrochar after plans for a viewpoint in the village hit the skids.

A report for the Helensburgh and Lomond Area Committee last week recommended that plans for a viewpoint at the junction of the A814 and A83 be scrapped.

The advice follows feedback from the community and technical officers from Argyll and Bute Council, with the safety of site access among several concerns.

The report by executive director of development and infrastructure Pippa Milne also addressed the issue of a proposed Ben Arthur resort, stating it is the best use of the authority’s resources for Arrochar.

The document states: “A substantial level of work has been undertaken on two projects to support the ambitions of the Arrochar, Tarbet and Ardlui Community Council Forum.

“A feasibility study was jointly commissioned between Argyll and Bute Council and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Planning Authority to explore the possibility of a viewpoint at the prominent junction.

“Following consideration of feedback received from the community and Argyll and Bute technical officers it is recommended that the viewpoint proposal is not progressed.

“A site-specific risk assessment was undertaken. This established that it is unsafe to access and maintain the site due to the conditions and steep topography.

“The embankment and retaining wall down to the shore forms part of the public road network. The limits of this area extend north to the junction with the A83.

“The site bounded by Loch Long and the A83, coupled with steep topography, presents challenging site conditions which are not considered appropriate for development.”

Ms Milne’s report also noted that the cost of addressing the site conditions would be £280,000, without factoring in extra costs, including repairs. She also said the council is unable to dedicate resources to the project, which would usually be led by a community trust.

The document also states: “The site of the former Royal Navy torpedo factory is also a standing item at the ATACC Forum under the heading, ‘Ben Arthur resort’.

“[This] references the name associated with the proposal for a hotel, timeshare, marina and housing development on the site, the planning permission for which has now lapsed.

“To date, discussion has been mainly in relation to the unkempt nature of the derelict site and the attempts to curb fly tipping and antisocial behaviour. There is therefore significant need to make a concerted effort to try and stimulate the redevelopment potential of the site.”

Councillor Iain S Paterson (Lomond North) said: “The development of the bar/old Royal Navy torpedo range site is long overdue and I’m glad to see it’s on agenda at the area committee.

“What Arrochar most definitely needs is a project with the economic growth and sustainability that the development of the old torpedo range would bring.”