Objections in vain to ‘high density’ housing at marina

Villagers say they are ‘in shock’ after their objections to the latest stage in the saga of Rhu Marina were ignored.

Part of the site in the conservation village is designated as high density housing in Argyll and Bute Council’s draft Local Development Plan.

Residents fear this means there could be a repeat of the type of housing development which caused so much controversy when it was part of a masterplan for the marina which was unanimously rejected in August following objections by more than 1,000 people.

Councillors were lobbied by many members of the public before yesterday’s meeting of the Helensburgh and Lomond area committee but did not change the designation as officers told them it would delay the whole plan process by at least a year.

They sought to reassure the public about safeguards but afterwards the meeting was described as a ‘fait accompli’ by Alastair Moore who was part of the ‘Save our Rhu Bay’ campaign.

He said many locals had contacted councillors despite having less than 24 hours’ notice of the meeting, expressing their opposition to plans for any type of designated housing on the site.

“Here we are again with the planners still earmarking Rhu Marina with high density housing,” he said.

“It is very clear that the overwhelming majority of the local community want to see Rhu Marina developed only as a marina, without housing and sensitive to the village’s conservation area status.

“The community is in shock with the outcome of the meeting and the continuation of the pushing through of high density housing by planners and many believe the meeting was a fait accompli.”

Councillor George Freeman told the meeting that the site was contentious but a ‘mini-brief’ would need to be produced as a first step, followed by another masterplan, so the elected councillors would still have control on what was built there.

“We are not necessarily looking at a high density housing development on that site,” he said.

“I believe we can give the community reassurance on what has been proposed.”

Planning officer Mark Lodge said: “There is room in a mini-brief or us to include the parts off the site and numbers and form of housing.

“The fact that it has been described as high density does not mean that it will be high rise, for example.”

Councillors voted unanimously not to amend the designation on the local development plan.

A report on the other contentious sites which were discussed at the meeting will be published on this website tomorrow.

3 Comments

  1. I would be interested to know how the extra housing will affect the capacity of the sewerage system – I have heard that there is raw sewage being discharged into the Clyde somewhere in that vicinity at present.

  2. ‘Conservation’ if it means what it says on the tin then this law will supersede the morally corrupt councillors plan. They were all bar one noted to be immediately in cahoots with the developers, looking to help them progress with this monstrous plan immediately after the meeting in the Rhu Community centre when due to immense public objection, this plan was binned. Now it seems democracy is being usurped in favour of the wealthy few. Don’t give up ‘Save our Rhu Bay’, and all those against housing in Rhu Bay, lets vote these so called councillors out, they are not representing the wishes of the local people. How at a vote merely months ago can they vote against this plan then in a blink of an eye, change their minds?!! I will definitely be looking to an alternative council rep when the elections next come round, time for changes that lot have been in there far too long..

  3. The guys from Save Our Rhu Bay have been doing a grand job.
    And what a so appropriate fitting titled name they have.

    It has been noticeable in the community of the creating of awareness, helpful friendly information and news, keeping us informed, and bringing out all the important topical points and issues.

    Without them we would have been stitched up and have had the wool pulled over our eyes.
    And we could have been looking at a monstrosity of tall buildings sprawling along our delightful Rhu Bay.

    Keep up the good work Save Our Rhu Bay team.

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