A DECISION on controversial plans to build three new houses in Clynder won't be made until at least August after councillors decided to seek more information on aspects of the site.

Paul Rodger’s plans for the construction at Peat Knowe, on Back Road, were recommended for approval by an Argyll and Bute Council planning officer despite 17 objections from the public.

But members of the authority’s planning, protective services and licensing committee expressed fears over the potential for flooding and the impact on neighbouring properties, as well as vehicular access.

The objectors have raised similar concerns, as well as voicing fears over the effect on biodiversity, whether the existing infrastructure on the Rosneath peninsula could support a development, notification of neighbouring properties and the expansion of a road next to the site

And it was decided to continue the process until the committee’s next meeting, which is due to take place in August, to seek further information on the stability of the site.

The committee met virtually on Wednesday, June 22.

Lomond North independent councillor Mark Irvine, whose ward includes the development site, said: “It is clear from the pictures we were shown, and from Google Maps, that the roads seem to be very unsuitable for long vehicles.

“Will this be taken into consideration in relation to moving materials on to the site? They are single track roads; will this have a material impact?”

Council planning officer Norman Shewan responded that roads officers had been consulted on the plans and had raised no objections.

Councillor Fiona Howard (Labour, Helensburgh Central) asked: “I am concerned about the embankments. Do we know if they are completely stable, as they look pretty precarious to me?”

Mr Shewan replied: “Works were carried out in advance of the application being submitted. I should point out this work is perhaps rudimentary in how it has been carried out.

“Planning officers have recommended that any planning permission is subject to a condition requiring approval of a landscape scheme. Officers can use that information to make an assessment of ground levels.”

Councillor John Armour (SNP, South Kintyre) said: “I looked at this on Google Maps as well. We have also seen pictures of the slope towards the gardens at other properties. I could not believe how dangerous that looks.

“If there is any flooding then the whole bank could go. I am very wary of approving this unless we have absolute guarantees that it can be rectified. If I stayed in one of those houses I would be very concerned.”

Mr Shewan said in response: “Having been on the site I fully appreciate members’ concerns and local residents’ concerns, but officers have recommended a condition to be absolutely sure.”

Councillor Howard added: “The hill at the back of the site has trees there at the moment, but every 10 years the trees are felled and replanted.

“It is a sad fact, but every time the trees are felled, there is resultant extra flooding as the trees are no longer there to soak up water. I worry that is the case here.”

Suggestions were made that the committee could carry out a site visit, but it was not felt that any benefit would be gained from such a move.

Councillor Kieron Green (Independent, Oban North and Lorn), the committee’s chair, said: “The dilemma for me is that we can scrutinise the plans fully, but there could be an ongoing risk to neighbouring properties, and additional delays could prolong that.

“I was minded to proceed with the suggestion we added an additional condition about ensuring plans were in place for stabilisation of the slop, but to otherwise grant planning permission.

"The exact wording of the condition would be between the chair and the vice-chair.”

But other councillors did not agree, and it was unanimously decided to continue the matter to the committee’s next meeting, due on Wednesday, August 17.

Further information will be sought before then, and no further works are to take place on the site in the intervening period.