Public hearing to decide Kyles Hydro housing plan

A PUBLIC hearing will be held this week to decide the fate of a planning application for three two-storey houses land formerly occupied by the Kyles Hydro Hotel in Port Bannatyne.

Seventy-five people have signed a petition objecting to the application, which will be considered by Argyll and Bute Council’s planning, protective services and licensing committee at the authority’s headquarters in Lochgilphead at a meeting due to start at 11.45am this Wednesday, February 22.

Planning officials have already recommended that the application be granted, subject to a discretionary hearing and on condition that improvement work be carried out on the nearby Gortans Road, the vehicle access route to the site, prior to work starting on the development.

The petition was submitted by Mr Mark Markov, who owns Annieslea, the property next door to the development site.

Its 75 signatories, most of whom live in the Ardbeg and Port Bannatyne area, have objected because of fears that the development would destroy important wildlife habitats and is not in character with the existing dwellings in the area, that the Gortans Road access route is unsuitable for construction and motor traffic and would impact severely on nearby residents, and that the upgrading of the track would impact on the area’s present use as a leisure amenity by walkers, runners, riders and cyclists.

The applicant’s name is given only as ‘Excel’, with a contact address in the Whiteinch area of Glasgow; the applicant’s agents are Stewart Associates of Largs, a firm which has acted in a similar capacity for many Bute planning applications in recent years.

The development site, measuring 0.38 hectares (0.939 acres) is located on land formerly occupied by the Kyles Hydro’s bowling green, tennis courts and gardens.

A hotel was first erected on the Kyles Hydro site in 1877, but this later burned down and was replaced by a new structure which was opened in 1911. The Kyles of Bute Hydropathic Hotel, as it became known, was requisitioned by the Admiralty during the Second World War, but closed in the 1970s and was later demolished.