A DECISION on whether alterations and extensions can be made to a house in Helensburgh house will have to wait after a public hearing was adjourned.

Town resident Gail Crawford presented her plans for Redholm, at 4 West Lennox Drive, to councillors on Wednesday, February 7, and objectors also stated their cases.

A total of 29 objections have been lodged to Ms Crawford's proposal.

But the meeting of Argyll and Bute Council's planning, protective services and licensing committee had to be adjourned because the committee's chair had personal commitments and its vice-chair was unable to attend.

Three councillors travelled to Helensburgh for the meeting – Mark Irvine (Independent, Lomond North), Audrey Forrest (SNP, Dunoon) and Jan Brown (SNP, Mid Argyll) - but none of them got the chance to ask a question.

A date for the continuation of the hearing will be set in due course.

READ MORE: Redholm planning application sparks fury from neighbours in conservation zone

After planning agents had spoken on her behalf, Ms Crawford said: “I would like to thank the people of Helensburgh for their kinds words of support, and most of the community who have stayed silent.

Helensburgh Advertiser: A computer-generated image showing proposed alterations to Redholm in West Lennox DriveA computer-generated image showing proposed alterations to Redholm in West Lennox Drive (Image: Gfivethree/Argyll & Bute Council)

“I was raised and schooled in Helensburgh. I viewed a number of properties before deciding on Redholm, and I was under no illusion about the huge undertaking required to make my home watertight and futureproof.

“I was fully prepared for the level on commitment this property requires – but I was not prepared for the level of intimidation I have received.

“I was excited about the renovation process, designing my home, where I intend to stay for many years to come. After taking possession in October 2022, I found a continued stream was flowing through the house.

“After many investigative works, it became apparent that the issue was a flood drain problem, which has been long-standing.

READ MORE: Concerns raised over fate of 175-year-old tree amid 'aggressive' development plan

“During the summer of 2023 I carried out further investigative work, as I could not just sit back and watch the fabric of my home deteriorate further.

“There is already evidence of subsidence and I suspect most homeowners would take the same course of action. Over the past 11 months my home has deteriorated further.

“I hope the council follows the advice of planning officers, who have carried out a rigorous process. Please note that this planning application does not involve anything not already existing in the immediate area. We need to be progressive; let’s lead by example.”

Nigel Millar, of Helensburgh Community Council, also spoke, saying: “What we are talking about here is a development inside the Hill House Conservation Area. One of the unique features of Helensburgh is the number and size of its conservation areas.

“We have three, and there is no other town near Helensburgh in terms of the overall percentage of area being covered by conservation areas. That puts responsibility on the community council to look at good design.

“We are not just gifted amateurs; we take our responsibility very seriously indeed, even more so with an application in a conservation area.

Helensburgh Advertiser: A view of Redholm in West Lennox Drive in its current conditionA view of Redholm in West Lennox Drive in its current condition (Image: Gfivethree/Argyll and Bute Council)

“We feel that what is being proposed here is discordant. The community council supports what you (Ms Crawford) are trying to do, making it liveable, and we are appreciative of Redholm in the conservation area and we want it to enhance rather than detract.

“But in this case, we feel that is not being achieved. We think today is totally unnecessary; we do not need to be here.”

He then added: “We think you are sitting in what will be a listed building in the future [Helensburgh and Lomond Civic Centre].

“This approach should be applied to every development, but none more so than in a conservation area, and none more so than in the Hill House Conservation Area.

READ MORE: Controversial Redholm planning application 'should be approved', say officials

“We could have been in the situation like this without the heartache that the objectors surrounding Redholm have been through in the last few months.”

The committee's chair, Councillor Keiron Green (Independent, Oban North and Lorn) had flagged up his personal commitments at the start of the meeting, saying that it would have to finish by 1.30pm.

Vice-chair Amanda Hampsey (Conservative, Oban South and the Isles) was unable to attend Wednesday's hearing.

As the meeting prepared to close, Councillor John Armour (SNP, South Kintyre) asked about the possibility of electing another chair.

But Iain Jackson, the council’s governance and risk manager, said that he would recommend adjourning to a later date.