PLANS to demolish and replace accommodation at a Garelochhead camp have been given the go-ahead by council chiefs.

The Greenfield military training camp was the subject of the application to Argyll and Bute Council by Landmarc Support Services to demolish the “out-dated” existing accommodation blocks.

These would be replaced by four new two-storey, flat-roofed facilities offering a total of 416 bed spaces – 16 fewer than are currently on the site.

No representations, expressing objection or support, were received by council officers and planning permission for the development was granted on Monday, January 30.

A council officer said in a handling report: “There is a need to replace existing accommodation buildings as they have failed with upkeep and continuing maintenance is very expensive. They are very inefficient in energy usage and they don’t meet modern health and safety regulations.”

They then said: “As set out in the supporting design statement, these new buildings are not proposed as additional accommodation, but as part of a comprehensive phased plan for the whole camp to replace existing older huts that no longer comply with standards.

“Notwithstanding the utilitarian appearance, it is considered that the siting around an existing car park will create a courtyard type of development pattern that relates logically to the existing development pattern.

“The institutional scale and character of the blocks and the drab external finishes are appropriate to the proposed use and the overall character of existing buildings on the site.

“The site is effectively a shallow landscape bowl with land rising to the west, north and east towards landscape ridges with mature tree blocks.

“Additionally, the sites for the blocks will be ‘dug into’ the land levels to minimise their visual impact. Wider landscape views into the site are limited to views from the A814 and other MoD bases to the south; and the south facing hillside to the east of the A814.

“However, these views are over some considerable distance where it is considered that the proposed new blocks will appear as a small northwards extension of existing built development of the camp, and will have a negligible impact upon landscape character.”

The officer concluded: “Having regard to all material considerations including the application drawings and supporting statements, consultee responses, national planning policy, and the provisions of the Local Development Plan (LDP), it is considered that the proposed development will not result in material detriment to any matter relevant to land-use planning and should be approved as being in accordance with the LDP.”