PLANS to turn a Rhu home into a residential training centre are to be scrutinised afresh - even though permission has already been granted for the development.

The proposals for Duneira, in the village’s Pier Road, were given the green light by Argyll and Bute Council officials in January.

But applicant Paul Smith is challenging some of the conditions of the January decision - specifically those relating to vehicle movement and access to the site.

Councillors Gordon Blair (Cowal), Rory Colville (South Kintyre) and Roddy McCuish (Oban South and the Isles) will sit on a three-member 'local review body' which will consider Mr Smith's appeal on Monday, June 1.

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Among the documents published on the council's website ahead of the hearing is a statement from Rhu-based JmacArchitects, who say: “The proposal is to operate, generally, week long residential courses which would require the participants to be based in the property for the duration of the course.

“All course guidance would be provided by the current owners supported by others who would also be resident during the courses.

“The impact on vehicle movements would therefore be minimal with the model allowing for staggered arrivals and departures.

“The owners being present prior to each course commencing and only departing after all participants had left at the end of each course.

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“Regarding the current imposition of conditions, the most appropriate approach is to permit access only via Shore Road and exit by Pier Road.

“It should also be noted that this approach would result in minimal impact to the frontage on to Shore Road.

“Equally the configuration for vehicles to be contained on site can be amended to ensure minimal impact on neighbours.

“The site is capable of supporting a suitable number of vehicles in a variety of solutions.

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"Bearing in mind that there is significant traffic flow on Shore Road during specific times – travelling to the [Faslane] base in the morning and departing the base at close of the day – the participants would also be advised to avoid these times to minimise any possible disruption.

“The suggested alternative proposal contained within the appeal response would ensure that an established property set in substantial grounds can be utilised in a manner that is suitable to its setting within the conservation village of Rhu.”

Six objections were lodged with the council, and some of those who submitted them have contacted the authority to say their concerns remain.

As well as vehicle access and parking, there are also questions over what type of training will be given at the facility, although the council have previously said this is not a planning issue.

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A handling report recommending the approval of the plans said that access to the house was proposed to be via Pier Road, but the area roads manager advised this route was not suitable for commercial vehicles.

The council planning officer who wrote the report also said: “The preferred mode of access/egress is required to be via the existing access onto Gareloch Road.

“The transport assessment submitted by the applicant outlines the methodology for customers arriving/departing, off street parking. They also later agreed to the provision of a shuttle bus.”

No Helensburgh and Lomond councillors will be involved in Monday's hearing, as local review panels cannot include elected councillors for the area in which the application site is located. The meeting will  take place via Skype.

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