Planning U-turn over Rothesay windows installation

Builder John Morrison pictured outside 19 Battery Place in Rothesay with local councillors Isobel Strong and Robert Macintyre in January 2014.
Builder John Morrison pictured outside 19 Battery Place in Rothesay with local councillors Isobel Strong and Robert Macintyre in January 2014.

A Rothesay man looks to have finally won his long-running battle with Argyll and Bute Council over the installation of new windows in his seafront property.

John Morrison had been set for yet more disappointment recently after planning officials recommended refusal of his retrospective application for new uPVC windows at 19 Battery Place.

But in an unexpected U-turn, the council’s planning, protective services and licensing committee decided by six votes to four to go against their officials’ advice and to grant permission.

Mr Morrison installed the windows in 2013 as part of his renovation of the long-derelict property – but within months the council raised the threat of enforcement action against him unless the windows were removed.

That prospect remained in place until the planning committee’s U-turn at its meeting in Lochgilphead on August 17.

An amendment, recommending that permission be granted, was proposed by SNP Mid Argyll councillor Sandy Taylor, seconded by Neil MacIntyre (Labour, Oban South and the Isles) and backed by Donnie MacMillan (Independent, Mid Argyll), Jimmy McQueen (Independent, Dunoon), Alex McNaughton (Independent, Cowal) and Roddy McCuish (Independent, Oban South and the Isles).

The planning department’s own position was supported by committee chair David Kinniburgh (Conservative, Helensburgh and Lomond South), Robin Currie (Liberal Democrat, Kintyre and the Islands), George Freeman (Independent, Lomond North) and Richard Trail (SNP, Helensburgh and Lomond South).

A council spokesman said: “The members of the Planning, Protective Services and Licensing (PPSL) Committee took the view that the installation of uPVC windows at 19 Battery Place, Rothesay was justifiable because of the significant environmental improvement to the town following the restoration of the previously derelict building.

“Following a show of hands vote, with six for and four against, the committee approved the application on that basis.

“The council updated its policy towards the end of 2015 to allow greater flexibility for less historically significant buildings and buildings already subject to significant change in their window configuration.

“This position remains the same and each application will continue to be determined on its own merits.”