New boutique hotel approved in Loch Lomond National Park.
Following an initial consultation with the applicants En-Plan completed a Planning Application that was subsequently submitted to and approved by the "Trossachs and Loch Lomond" National Park Authority. The council have been happy to approve the proposal with no amendments and the applicant was happy that they will have a new business approved in the small but the small but thriving town of Balloch.
The building, subject of this application, is a traditional detached 2-storey villa containing seven bedrooms. The property was previously known as ‘Avalon’. The building fronts onto, and is accessed from, the south side of Balloch Road via an existing gravel driveway that wraps around the front, side and rear of the house. The property is bounded to the north by the Lomond Park Hotel (bar, night club and accommodation rooms) and to the south by a semi-detached traditional built dwellinghouse. On the north side of Balloch Road, opposite the property, is a range of uses including restaurants and a night club. In the immediate vicinity there are also shops, a take away and bed and breakfast accommodation. To the rear of the building is a private garden area and gravel parking area that can accommodate 7-8 vehicle parking spaces. The property is bounded by 1.8m high timber fencing and beyond this, to the south, the adjacent uses are predominantly residential: the nearest property being ‘Megeve’, accessed from Tullichewan Road, and further to the south are the rear gardens of nos. 7 & 8 Craiglomond Gardens.
The approved scheme will create seven new rooms for paying guests with on site parking and a hot tub. Planning permission is sought retrospectively for a change of use of the property from dwellinghouse (Class 9) to a ‘sui generis’ use as short stay visitor accommodation. The Planning Authority considered that the principle of the proposed development raises no policy issues as it is located within Balloch and is in a part of the village that has a mix of complimentary retail, leisure, and visitor accommodation and is well connected by all modes of transportation. This small-scale proposal, which uses an existing property, is not considered to necessitate submission of a business plan to justify the proposal as it could easily revert to housing if the business was not to continue.
It is considered that there would not be a significant amenity impact on the adjacent residential properties, to the east and south of the site, as any noise within the property would be largely contained therein and any exterior noise would be primarily concentrated within the private garden area close to the house and well separated from other private gardens, as detailed on the submitted plans. It is acknowledged that there may be a greater level of activity from the proposed use, when compared to a house in single permanent occupation, however it is considered that the context of the property and separation from adjacent ‘sensitive’ residential uses renders this acceptable. The potentially noise generating outdoor uses associated with the change of use (i.e. hot tub) is acceptable in its current location but, if relocated to the rear boundary nearest the other residential uses, could have a negative impact on amenity that could be more frequent than this type of facility in a permanent house. Therefore it is recommended that the uses be restricted to the areas shown on the submitted plan and that this be controlled by planning condition.
The Roads Officer’s request for parking requirements has been detailed on the submitted plan, and subject to this being addressed by planning condition to ensure it is implemented within a reasonable timescale that this would be acceptable.
The planning officer has brought to the applicant’s attention that the 1.8m high boundary fence at the front of the property and shelter in the rear garden both require planning permission (due to their dimensions and/or location). In addition, that the current level of signage would require express advertisement consent. The applicant’s agent has provided assurances that these matters will be addressed. It is considered that they do not have a direct bearing on the determination to justify delaying a decision on this application, but should be addressed nonetheless by the applicant and the situation will be monitored.
In conclusion, this proposal accords with Policy VEP1, does not raise any significant amenity issues with respect to Policy OP2, subject to condition, and, subject to condition, accords with Policy TP3 of the National Park’s Local Development Plan. There are no other material considerations that would justify a departure from the Local Development Plan. Therefore the Planning Authority recommended that permission be approved.
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