THE architect behind failed plans for an innovative housing development in Kilcreggan says he still hopes to create something special for the village.

Andy Whyte from Lucid Architecture spoke to the Advertiser after the firm lost its appeal against refusal of planning permission for seven ‘hybrid’ accommodation units and a community hub, on a site to the north of the village’s boatyard.

The proposals - which would have seen a number of houses built on ‘stilts’ on the hillside site - were rejected by Argyll and Bute Council in March, and a report for the authority’s planning, protective services and licensing (PPSL) committee revealed that a bid to the Scottish Government to have that refusal overturned has been dismissed.

Reporter Allison Coard, from the government’s planning and environmental appeals division (PEAD), said Lucid Architecture’s proposals did not accord with the relevant provisions of the council’s development plan.

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Mr Whyte, however, said he and his firm had no plans to walk away from Kilcreggan.

“The government’s decision wasn’t completely unexpected,” he said, “but we do have a plan B.

“We are planning to submit a compromise application, probably in the next week or two, for three houses – these would be a bit bigger but with a more standard layout and design, though still using good materials and good aesthetics.

“We’re keen to do something that takes up the good parts of the original design but still answers a lot of the questions people had in relation to the original application.

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“We’ve had an interest in Kilcreggan since we were invited to submit an idea for a new community facility back in 2011.

“We were really impressed with the experience of taking part in that, and our involvement planted the seed of an idea.

“We’re not going to be walking away. We feel a genuine affinity with the community and what is going on in the village, and we want to create something that is interesting and worthwhile.”

Ms Coard said in her adjudication on the company’s appeal: “Whilst I note the appellant refers to more modern additions on Fort Road as reflecting little of local character or design, the houses along the frontage of the site are nonetheless of a conventional design and clearly form part of the settlement.

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“In contrast, the proposed accommodation units would be of an unconventional design and clearly distinct from the established pattern and form of development in the village.

“I consider there is considerable uncertainty that the woodland, which I consider to have an important amenity and setting role within the village, has the capacity to accommodate the proposed scale of development without fundamental damage occurring.

“This concern is particularly pronounced within those areas of the site which have more established woodland cover.

“I therefore conclude, for the reasons set out above, that the proposed development does not accord overall with the relevant provisions of the development plan and that there are no material considerations which would still justify granting planning permission.”

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