Housing and tearoom plans to be approved?

Plans to turn a former community centre into housing look set to win approval from councillors.

And they are also expected to approve the change of use from a hairdresser’s salon to a tearoom.

Andrew Watts’ plans to convert the Rainbow Centre on School Road in Kilcreggan into three homes – first reported here – are recommended for approval by Argyll and Bute Council’s planning, protective service and licensing committee next Wednesday.

The former Rainbow Centre is standing empty
The former Rainbow Centre is standing empty

A report by officials states there have been no objections, adding: “It is considered that the works to the property have been designed to minimise as far as possible disruption to the existing fabric and that all important features have been maintained and therefore the change of use is in principle acceptable as the main external elevations will not only be retained but upgraded.”

The building was originally built as the Free Presbyterian Church school and was largely endowed by the Carne Campbell family.

It was originally the main school in Kilcreggan but was declared  surplus once the new school was built further up the hill and a group of residents decided to manage it as a community centre and leased the building from the  council for a nominal value.

The community use of the building as the Rainbow Centre continued until 2010 when it was handed back to the council to manage as it was no longer viable.

A council spokesperson said today (Thursday) that negotiations were continuing over the sale of the building.

An application to open a tearoom in the Clachan, Rosneath, is also recommended for approval.

A report to councillors says there have been petitions both in support and opposing the plan. Environmental health and roads officers had initially recommended refusal, but after talks with the applicant the objections about parking and cooking smells were overcome, says the report:

“ In this case I consider that the principle of a café/tearoom should be supported but that it should only be done on a restricted basis given the concerns of environmental health on cooking odours and the potential impact an extract flue could have on the wider conservation area.

“As there would be minimal external alterations, it is not considered there would be any detrimental impact on the character of the conservation area.”

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