A RHU resident has won his bid to have a series of planning conditions scrapped around access to a planned new house in the village.

Graham Wylie’s attempt to have six conditions relating to a site at Rhu Lodge, off Ferry Road, removed had been turned down by Argyll and Bute Council earlier this year.

But Mr Wylie appealed to the Scottish Government asking them to overturn the council’s decision – and he has now won his case.

Planning permission for the house itself was granted in November 2020 – with the controversial conditions all relating to vehicle access to the house added in response to a subsequent application in December 2021.

Council officials told Mr Wylie he would have to build a 3.5 metre access road between the site and the A814, along with sightline visibility splays at the site’s driveway access with Ferry Road, as well as the construction of a private access road and parking and turning provision at the site itself.

But a reporter from the Scottish Government’s planning and environmental appeals division (DPEA) has now said the council’s conditions “fail[ed] to meet the tests of necessity and reasonableness”.

During a debate in November on Mr Wylie’s initial bid to have the conditions removed, ward councillor Mark Irvine said he believed the council was “cracking a walnut with a sledgehammer”.

Cllr Irvine, one of three councillors for the Lomond North ward, which includes Rhu, said: “What we are talking about is traffic visibility and passing places.

“What I am worried about is that this is a conservation area and we are talking about two additional cars at the end of a cul-de-sac.

“This is a massive undertaking, to upgrade a road from which there does not seem to be a significant need.”

He was one of six councillors at that meeting who voted to continue the application while four voted to uphold the conditions there and then.

In his report on Mr Wylie’s appeal, government reporter Andrew Sikes said: “I find that conditions 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 attached to planning permission 21/02709/PP fail to meet the tests of necessity and reasonableness.

“The appellant has demonstrated to my satisfaction that it is neither necessary nor reasonable to require Ferry Road to be improved to an adoptable standard given the location, nature and scale of the development proposed; it is a lightly-trafficked private road within a conservation area.

“There is no evidence to suggest that the council has undertaken an assessment of use to justify the package of improvement measures to Ferry Road that it seeks.

“In the absence of such, I consider the improvements proposed by the appellant are proportionate and would ensure that Ferry Road continues to function safely and effectively.

“Furthermore, the appeal site’s location within Rhu Conservation Area requires decision makers to take full account of the area’s special interest and ensure that new development preserves or enhances its character or appearance.

“The council’s rigid application of standards in its pursuit of infrastructure to serve the proposed dwelling house suggests that it has failed to consider the qualities of the place before the movement of vehicles; contrary to policies set out in Designing Streets and the Local Development Plan.

“Accordingly, I find that conditions 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 should be varied or removed as described above and as set out in the schedule of conditions attached to this notice below.”

Mr Sikes imposed three new, less onerous, conditions relating to the access road, visibility splays and parking and turning arrangements.