237 people object to Taynuilt home demolition

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A planning application to demolish a house in Taynuilt has received more than 235 public objections.

The Josephine Marshall Trust submitted an application to knock down Barr Bheag in Glen Lonan, near Taynuilt, in November of last year.

However, in the past week, Nick Charlton, who has been a Barr Bheag tenant for 13 years, and his partner Claire De Mortimer, have created a website asking for support.

They say that if this action goes ahead, they will lose their home and business premises, as Nick runs The Rusty Cycle Shed – a bike hire and repair shop – from an adjacent tin hut.

So far 237 people have publicly backed the pair and objected to the demolition.

‘If the house is demolished, we will lose the business as well,’ Nick and Claire said, speaking to The Oban Times. ‘We will have to move out and start from scratch.

‘It’s a [business] lease that’s dependent on the tenancy of the house.

‘What we are trying to do is get objections to the demolition because the case for refusing is not particularly strong.

‘But the support has been great. People have been really supportive on a one-to-one level.’

Claire is also concerned about losing her vegetable garden. ‘You have to put work in – it’s not easy. I have spent a lot of time doing this, [the landlord] is not getting my soil.’

Speaking about the impact this has had on their lives, the couple said: ‘It warps everything. It’s extremely stressful. It’s like a full-time job.

‘We have to generate our own work, so it comes out of time we would spend working.’

They added: ‘The support has been great and Argyll and Bute’s planning department has been really helpful and supportive.’

In their objections, people have said: ‘I object to the application on the following grounds: Barr Bheag does not need to be demolished. The demolition has been proposed by the applicant to avoid compliance with the Court Repairing Order and to evict tenants from their home and business. The council should not give sanction to a demolition which flouts the court order. Any decision must protect the tenant’s human right to his home.’

A spokesperson for the Josephine Marshall Trust said: ‘The situation is a very unhappy and unfortunate family one. We can’t comment any further at the moment as everything is so sensitive.’

Claire and Nick informed The Oban Times that Argyll and Bute’s planning department has extended the application’s expiry date due to ‘the complexity, high volume of complaints and the holidays’.