Glenorchy and Innishail Community Council round-up

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Plans to turn a remote farm near Dalmally into tourist accommodation continue to raise objections.

Serious issues over access to the Rockhill Farm site were among concerns flagged up at this month’s Glenorchy and Innishail Community Council.

The Zoom meeting heard paperwork by the applicant seeking planning permission to demolish existing farm buildings, build six self-catering units, a floating jetty and a bio-disc treatment plant indicated there was a site meeting between community councillors and the developer and that the community council had indicated it thought it was a good idea.

‘No such meeting took place,’ said community council convenor John Kerr. ‘Their paperwork is misleading, to put it mildly,’ he added.

There have already been more than 10 residents’ objections to the holiday development and the community council felt it should support them.

Mr Kerr also referred to ‘a whole lot of technical reasons’ why the application should be invalid, including the development not being in the settlement of Ardbrecknish.

The meeting heard if plans were passed, there could potentially be as many as 30 beds on the tourist-site with associated cars and parking.

The developer would need to ‘think again’ about how to get good access to the site, said Mr Kerr.

Last year, The Oban Times reported how villagers had reported alleged ‘unauthorised development’ at the secluded farm on the banks of Loch Awe.

Residents had contacted planners at Argyll and Bute Council to say they were ‘shocked and dismayed’ after a chalet went up.

That chalet is now being used as a site office, last week’s meeting heard.

Glasgow-based businessman Matthew Shields, who bought the site, has previously made moves to reassure the community he planned to respect the area’s tranquility.

Also discussed at the community council meeting was progress on bringing broadband to the area. A planning application has gone in for a new mast at Victoria car park near Black Mount.

Those behind the Glenorchy and Innishail Community Action Development Plan,  shaping up the area over the next five years, are hoping to shortlist candidates for a part-time co-ordinator soon, the community council heard.

The state of the B840 road was on the agenda, with parts of it ‘deteriorating vastly’. Also of concern are unmarked passing places. Contact urging the council to look carefully at the road and its needs will be made with Jim Smith, Argyll and Bute Council’s head of roads and amenity services.

Community councillors are waiting for feedback from Dalmally parents before responding to Argyll and Bute Council’s consultation on its collective leadership proposals for schools. Concerns were raised about the ‘restrictive’ format set out for people to have their say, but councillor Kieron Green, who was at the meeting, stressed the importance of hearing as many peoples’ views as possible, urging emails with more to say being sent to education officials as well.

An application for £500 from An Suidhe wind farm fund was approved for fencing work near the loch shore at Portsonachan Hall.

And the community council would be interested to hear how people would like to celebrate the Queen’s upcoming platinum jubilee.

Caption: Rockhill Farm was sold by Dawsons Estate Agents, Oban. There are plans to turn it into holiday accommodation.
NO-T33 Rockhill Farm at Ardbrecknish