Rothesay windows in focus at community council

Bute House Hotel owner Harry Greene sparked a furious row over attitudes towards 'heritage' windows in the Rothesay conservation area.
Bute House Hotel owner Harry Greene sparked a furious row over attitudes towards 'heritage' windows in the Rothesay conservation area.

Bute Community Council is to hear a presentation this week on the controversial approach taken by local planning officials towards ‘traditional’ windows in Rothesay buildings.

Ross McLaughlin from Argyll and Bute Council’s planning department will speak on the subject at BCC’s monthly meeting, taking place at Rothesay Pavilion on Wednesday, April 15 at 7pm.

The subject was thrown into the spotlight by local businessman Harry Greene’s unsuccessful attempts to seek permission for uPVC windows in the Bute House Hotel in the centre of the town.

Mr Greene’s installation of the non-traditional windows in March 2014, in defiance of rulings from both the council and the Scottish Government, was stopped after the authority obtained a court order preventing any further work on the property.

The furious row prompted the council - which had been served with a 1,100-signature petition in support of Mr Greene shortly before he began the work - to draw up a plan of ‘information and education’ about its window policy, and particularly how it applied to the outstanding conservation area which covers much of Rothesay.

The authority promised to review the boundaries of the Rothesay conservation area and to make a presentation to BCC on the subject; the review is due to be completed this month, though the presentation was originally meant to happen last September.

Announcing the review last May, Mr McLaughlin said in a report to councillors: “The recently submitted petition highlights widespread concern on the island that the imperative to respect the architectural heritage of Rothesay can lead to conflict with development proposals which contribute to economic well-being of Bute.

“Officers are sensitive to this public interest and are keen to respond by delivering this project.”