A HELENSBURGH resident’s plans for home alterations and extensions have been recommended for approval – despite 29 objections from the public.

Gail Crawford’s proposals for “a full internal refurbishment and large contemporary extension” at Redholm at 4 West Lennox Drive will go before councillors at a meeting next week.

Among the alterations being planned are the removal of redundant chimneys, repairs to windows and sandstone, and the removal of the existing extension in the northwest corner of the property.

However, Helensburgh Community Council is among the objectors, saying that the design of the planned extension was “unattractive and inappropriate” and calling for the application to go to a public hearing.

The plans will be debated at a meeting of Argyll and Bute Council’s planning, protective services and licensing (PPSL) committee on Wednesday, October 18. An officer has recommended that planning permission is granted.

A statement from the applicant, quoted in a handling report, said: “The proposal is a full internal refurbishment and large contemporary extension to the rear of an unlisted Victorian villa which sits in the Hill House Conservation Area.

“The existing property consists of a series of grand rooms with significant decorative features, arranged in a formal manner reflective of the time in which it was built.

“In addition to a full renovation of the existing building to suit a growing family, the client’s brief required a new open-plan, light filled kitchen and dining space suited to modern living, with a connection to the garden.

“The main design changes are proposed for the ground floor. We propose the removal of the existing extension to the north-west corner of the property, allowing us to radically transform the internal space, opening up the corner of the site to create a large central heart to the new home.

“This new generous open-plan layout will aim to rationalise how one moves and circulates throughout the house, which currently is disadvantaged by the disconnected cellular spaces of the traditional layout.

“Albeit striking, the scheme seeks to deliver a balanced contemporary interpretation of a house extension to a traditional Scottish architecture that reflects and respects the original guise of the building by modernising, yet not overpowering it.

“To create such a building of this flexibility, a high level of nuanced design in terms of materiality and massing articulation had to be considered. There are also a number of holding works we have proposed to the house to ensure its long-term survival.”

However, the community council, a statutory consultee, said: “This planning application should be rejected by Argyll and Bute Council.

“The design of the extension to Redholm’s western elevation is unattractive and inappropriate. It will make the house appear lop-sided and destroy the attractive symmetry from its present central relationship with the site overall.

“And it is likely there will be serious negative impacts on the amenity of its Whincroft neighbours. Finally, it will damage – not enhance – the contribution Redholm makes to the HCCA.

“Because of the strongly-held, vociferous and well-argued opposition from neighbouring residents and with Redholm sitting in the HCCA.

“HCC asks that this application be determined by a public hearing of Argyll and Bute Council’s PPSL committee. And not be behind closed doors.

“The residents deserve no less and have full support of Helensburgh Community Council in their opposition to this planning application."