Roads department U turn on Lonan Drive application

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Argyll and Bute Council’s roads department has carried out a U-turn on a plan to build 44 more homes in Lonan Drive and is now recommending the planning application is refused.

The reason stated was that the entrance appears to be too narrow ‘to construct a road to adoptable standards’.

The comment continues: ‘Roads would have to recommend refusal of planning permission unless the applicant can obtain the land required for road construction.’

Plans, submitted by applicants TSL Contractors Ltd, show a mix of 44 flats and semi-detached houses in 12 blocks.

Planning officers originally recommended Argyll and Bute Council approve the plan.

Speaking about the change of direction, a local resident said: ‘I am relieved the council has finally realised the logistical and feasible problems. It’s what we have been telling them for years.’

A spokesperson for the campaign said: ‘We are extremely interested in this latest recommendation from the roads department and we will see what transpires.

‘We are delighted with the overall level of support, not just from local residents. It indicates there’s a fundamental issue of green space in the Soroba area and, perhaps, in Oban in general.’

A public hearing regarding the plans is to be held on Monday May 28 in the Corran Halls from 10.30am.

Councillors agreed to hold the meeting after 42 objections were lodged by local residents and community councillors.

They argue it is the ‘only green area’ within an area of high density  housing.

A petition, set up recently, has so far been signed by 198 people.

The petition outlines the main areas that would be impacted if the houses were given the go-ahead.

They are: additional traffic congestion on the south side of Oban, deterioration of water and sewage, the area has a Japanese Knotweed problem, it is used by many residents and is an important habitat for wildlife.

The Oban Times contacted TSL Contractors, but the company made no comment.