PLANS for 29 new homes to be built at various points in and around Luss have been given the go-ahead after a five-hour meeting of planning chiefs.

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority’s planning and access committee approved the proposals by Luss Estates for eight separate sites at a meeting on Monday, October 28.

It was requested that the meeting be adjourned to another date to allow officers to talk to the developers about conditions for the plans.

But those wishes were outvoted after it was also asked that a decision was taken on the night, and the majority of the committee, which is chaired by Helensburgh councillor Ellen Morton, backed the plans, subject to conditions.

READ MORE: Luss Estates' new homes plan recommended for approval

Two hectares of trees must be planted as a result of woodland being lost to the developments, while other conditions are attached to various sites in the plans.

Seven properties are now set to be built on land to the north and south of Muirlands, one of them an affordable house, while five more affordable houses will be constructed at Porte o Rossdhu.

Ten houses on land to the north of Hawthorn Cottage, by Luss, were also approved, while three south of Aldochlay and four south of Arnburn were also given the green light.

The 80/20 split in market and affordable housing, at odds with the 50/50 divide requested in the Rural Development Framework, was discussed at the meeting.

An overarching report by case officer Caroline Strugnell had recommended that the plans for the homes were approved, but numerous objections had been lodged.

READ MORE: Anger persists over plans for new homes in and around Luss

The plans first went public in early 2017, but have been subject to several revisions since then amid concerns from some people living in the area.

Ms Strugnell said in her report: “Like many rural areas within the National Park this area suffers in general from an ageing and declining population, a lack of family and affordable housing and high house prices as a result of pressure from tourism and second homes.

“This has had associated impacts on the sustainability of local primary education provision and the area’s rural economy through lack of working-age resident population.

“There are also issues related to a lack of appropriate infrastructure to support communities and address local tourism pressure, particularly within Luss Village.

READ MORE: Plans for new Luss homes go public (from 2017)

“The package of development proposals, comprising these eight planning applications, have been put forward with the aim of addressing key strategic development objectives for the West Loch Lomondside Area as set out in the RDF [Rural Development Framework].

“The proposals have undergone extensive consideration, negotiation and scrutiny since submission in December 2016.

“Although the balance of housing falls short of the 50 per cent affordable housing sought by the RDF, a robust viability case has been presented by the applicant which justifies the overall balance proposed taking reasonable account of the land and finance already expended and equivalent provision ‘in lieu’.

“The finalised package of proposals would collectively help address the need for new family and affordable housing in the area in accordance with the delivery strategy and would also secure a new village green for Luss as one of the stated delivery objectives of the RDF.”

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