SNP duo oppose bathing station homes plan

The derelict bathing station at the West Bay in Rothesay could be converted into new seafront homes.
The derelict bathing station at the West Bay in Rothesay could be converted into new seafront homes.

BUTE’S two SNP councillors have come out against proposals to redevelop the long-derelict West Bay bathing station in Rothesay for housing.

Isobel Strong and Robert Macintyre, who are both standing for the Isle of Bute ward in the local authority elections on May 3, told a public meeting in the town on Sunday that they were not in favour of developer Ron MacDonald’s intentions for the site.

Mr MacDonald’s plan to construct three new-build houses on the site on Ardbeg Road, and to create two more properties by restoring and redeveloping the bathing station itself, was revealed in The Buteman earlier this month.

But Cllr Isobel Strong told Sunday’s meeting at the Victoria Hotel: “I don’t believe there should be any residential development along that shore, and I’ve registered strong objections to the proposal.

“All right, we want the bathing station tidied up a wee bit, but this is a way of getting not only three houses built, but subsidy too. I’m very much against the idea.

“While it does look a bit of a mess, I don’t think it’s worth him [Mr MacDonald] doing that for the sake of three houses for himself and his family.”

Councillor Robert Macintyre, meanwhile, said he doubted whether Mr MacDonald’s latest proposal was ever likely to become a reality.

“In 1995-96 Mr MacDonald invited Bute’s then four councillors to a slap-up lunch,” he said, “and then introduced his plan to have a hotel on the site.

“Subsequently he had another application for housing on the site which didn’t come to anything, and I don’t think this one will come to anything either.

“It would stick out like a sore thumb.”

We revealed the intentions of developer Ron MacDonald, who has owned the old bathing station site on Ardbeg Road since 1995, in our April 6 edition.

Mr MacDonald has yet to submit a planning application for the site, although he has been in discussion with planning officials from Argyll and Bute Council about using the new build properties as an ‘enabling project’ to allow the restoration of the bathing station.