OUTLINE plans for a major development of around 300 new homes in Helensburgh are expected to go public in the next few days.

Housing developer Taylor Wimpey West Scotland and Helensburgh Golf Club have submitted a 'proposal of application notice' (PAN) to Argyll and Bute Council for a development on part of the club's course in the north-east of the town.

Taylor Wimpey, the company behind the existing 'Hermitage Grange' development on the site of the former Hermitage Academy, says the homes will be a mixture of two, three, four and five bedroom detached properties, with 75 of them designated as "affordable housing".

The proposals also include demolishing the golf club's existing clubhouse and building a new one in its place, reconfiguring the golf course, and creating a new six-hole short course.

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The PAN has not yet been published on the council's website, but is expected to go live within days.

The company and the golf club have also announced plans for two online public consultation events in the next few weeks, prior to lodging a full planning application later this year.

They say the first, due to be held on February 26, will give the public a chance to have their say and ask questions about the project; the second, on March 26, will see the company and the club "explain how they have addressed any comments they received as part of the first consultation period".

The news follows approval of plans for major housing developments on the site of the old Hermitage Academy in Colgrain, the former Dobbies garden centre site at Ardencaple, and the Sawmill Field site on the eastern edge of the town, next to the new Hermitage Academy.

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The golf club site has been zoned for housing in Argyll and Bute's local development plan for several years.

Members of the golf club gave their blessing to the project in September 2016, when the Advertiser was told work on the new homes would not start until the golf club work is completed.

Caroline Proctor, land and planning director for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, said: “Our Proposal of Application Notice allows us to begin the important process of community engagement to discuss our development proposals.

“We are fully committed to a detailed programme of engagement with the local community in Helensburgh, and our planned public consultation events are part of the overall process.

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"Although the first event will not be held until February 2021, we would like to take this early opportunity to encourage as many people as possible to be involved as we develop our proposals before making a planning application in spring or summer this year."

Helensburgh Golf Club president John Laverty added: "We have been working closely with the team at Taylor Wimpey for quite some time on these proposals.

"They provide a number of significant benefits to the local community, most notably giving Helensburgh Golf Club the opportunity to upgrade and create first class facilities that will address the future of the game of golf, while at the same time being able to assist with the provision of much needed affordable and family housing to meet the needs of our local community.”

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