THE fate of controversial plans for a housing development in Portincaple is expected to be finally settled later this month.

Argyll and Bute Council’s planning, protective services and licensing [PPSL] committee will meet virtually to consider Pelham Olive’s proposals for 12 houses on the east shore of Loch Long on Tuesday, January 26.

A council planning officer has recommended that the proposals should be given the green light, subject to the hearing.

The hearing will be held via Skype due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

It won’t be the first planning hearing to be conducted that way as a result of the coronavirus restrictions, with plans for a development of 101 houses in Dunoon having been decided at a Skype hearing in December.

READ MORE: Councillors vote to take Portincaple housing plans to a public hearing

More than 1,100 objections have been received, along with two expressions of support. MSPs Jackie Baillie, Maurice Corry and Ross Greer have been among the objectors.

However, a council planning officer said in a handling report, issued in August 2020: “The proposal is considered to be a justifiable minor departure for Policy DM1 of the Argyll and Bute Local Development Plan adopted March 2015.

“It accords with all other LDP policies and there are no other adverse material considerations which would indicate that planning permission should be refused.”

They added: “The identified housing need relates to the Ministry of Defence’s Maritime Change programme which has resulted in all UK submarine operations being delivered from the Clyde.

“This has created a need for housing for military personnel and houses will be made available within this development specifically for this purpose.

“In these circumstances it is considered that there are compelling and justifiable reasons to approve this application as a minor departure from Policy DM1.”

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