‘Houses for Heroes’ would mark centenary of a soldier’s death

Plans for ‘houses for heroes’ to honour the centenary of an officer who died in World War One will now be decided at a special public hearing.

The charities say the new houses would fit into the vllage conservation area.
The charities say the new houses would fit into the vllage conservation area.

The proposal for three new homes in Cardross for disabled servicemen proved controversial, with 38 people objecting to the plan and 43 making comments in support.

Argylll and Bute planning officials recommended councillors to refuse both planning permission and listed building consent at their meeting in Lochgilphead last week.

But councillors voted by the narrowest of margins to decide both applications at a public hearing, following a site visit.

House for Heroes Scotland and the Chrystal Trust want to build three homes on Main Road in Cardross, to remember Lieutenant George Chrystal, heir to the Bloomhill Estate, who was killed at the second battle of Ypres in 1915 – details of Lt Chrystal’s life can be found in this article on the Helensburgh Heritage Trust website.

Supporters of the plan include the Royal British Legion Scotland and MSP Jamie McGrigor, but the site is in the green belt and Cardross Community Council was among the objectors, while planners say it would be ‘visually discordant’ and lead to ‘urban sprawl’.

“It is considered that there are other sites within the settlement boundary and that the link with the Chrystal Trustees is not sufficient to justify the provision of three dwellinghouses on this site,” added a report to last Wednesday’s meeting of the council’s planning, protective services and licensing committee.

“At this location it will also undermine the setting of Cardross Old Parish Church and Churchyard which respectively are a listed building and scheduled monument and will have a detrimental impact upon the character and appearance of the Conservation area contrary to development plan policy.”

Houses for Heroes Scotland maintain that the three terraced houses would be traditionally designed and would provide housing for some of the 12 disabled ex-service personnel and their families on the Veterans Scotland Central Housing Register waiting list for homes in this area.

A motion by Coun George Freeman calling for a site visit and pre-determination hearing was carried by seven votes to five – Coun David Kinniburgh had moved an amendment saying the plan should be rejected.

A separate application, for listed building consent to demolish part of a listed wall to allow access to the site, will be decided at the same time as the planning application.