Department Legal and Regulatory Services
|NORTH AYRSHIRE COUNCIL|
|Agenda Item 1.1|
28 October 2002
Isle of Arran
6 February 2001
6 April 2001
Arran : J Sillars
|Recommendation||Refuse for Reasons contained in Appendix 2 and authorise further appropriate action|
Isle of Arran
|Applicant||John Thomson Construction Ltd|
Isle Of Arran
|Proposal||Demolition of building|
It is proposed to demolish the freestanding building known as The Lookout which is located on the north west side of the A841 road in the centre of Lamlash, almost opposite the road leading to the pier (see attached location plan). It is a substantial two and a half storey building which used to contain a bank plus residential accommodation. It is not a listed building but it lies within Lamlash Conservation Area so Conservation Area Consent is required for its demolition. There is a modern flatted development on its south west side and a vacant site to its north east. It lies within the village boundary of Lamlash as defined by the adopted Isle of Arran Local Plan. Policy ENV7 in the local plan states that the Council (a) will support the protection of the heritage of the island by recognising the designated conservation area at Lamlash; and (b) will not favour proposals which have an adverse impact on listed buildings and/or conservation areas.
2. Consultations and Representations
Historic Scotland – The demolition of this building would be unacceptable as it would be contrary to well-established local and national policy and advice. It would be premature as it does not appear to be structurally unsound or dangerous. It should be brought back into use (perhaps as housing). If the owner is reluctant to maintain and/or develop the building, or market it to a restoring owner, the Inspectorate would recommend that the Council considers serving a repairs notice so that the building is secured as soon as possible.
Response – These comments are discussed fully in the analysis. It should be noted that if the Council was minded to grant consent the application would have to be referred to the Scottish Ministers who could call it in for their own decision.
Scottish Environment Protection Agency – No objection in principle. Demolition material should be reused or recycled if appropriate, or taken to a suitably authorised site for disposal.
Response – A condition could be applied with regard to this matter.
The application was advertised on site, in the Arran Banner and in the Edinburgh Gazette as an application for Conservation Consent.
1. Arran Civic Trust Per John Roberts, 3 Glen Place, Brodick
2. Janette R McVicar, 295 Crow Road, Glasgow
1. The building is an integral part of the character of the Conservation Area and its disappearance would be gravely detrimental to the village centre. An order to restore the building may be more appropriate than to permit demolition.
Response – Agreed – see analysis. Achieving restoration of the building is not straightforward and this is discussed further in the analysis also.
2. The building used to enhance the village, but it has been allowed to deteriorate. Too many such buildings are being demolished in the west coast of Scotland.
Response – I cannot comment on other cases but it is agreed that the deterioration of the building does nothing to enhance the village.
Petitions were also submitted with regard to the proposal, with 83 signatories in favour of demolition and 69 in favour of retention, with no reasons given in either case other than a general accompanying statement that the building is an eyesore and that action is needed one way or another.
Response – It is agreed that action is required to deal with the situation, and this is discussed further in the analysis.
The proposed demolition of the building would be contrary to local plan policy ENV7 if it would have an adverse impact on the conservation area. Although it can be argued that the building has a detrimental effect on the appearance on the area because of its present condition, demolition would not be the only solution to that. It would introduce a different detrimental effect of an additional gap site and the removal of a building that, potentially, can contribute to the character of the area. Restoration of the building would remove the detrimental effect without introducing other damaging effects.
The building is stone-built with a painted finish to the walls and a slate roof. It is two and a half stories high with dormers, sash and case windows, a single storey bay at the right hand side at ground level and a decorative wallhead feature between the dormers. It is in a prominent position in the centre of the village, and it is considered that it makes a positive contribution to the character of the conservation area, albeit reduced by the condition of the building. The paintwork is in need of renewing, windows and doors need some attention and the roof on the rear extension needs to be repaired or replaced.
Representatives of Development Control and Historic Scotland visited the building in the summer of 2001 and it was clear that the condition of the building was such that restoration would be feasible as it was structurally sound. Although some further deterioration is likely to have taken place since then it would probably be as a result of it not being made secure and wind and watertight by the owner.
Historic Scotland does not consider that a strong enough case has been made for demolition of the building, nor that sufficient effort has been made to market the property to developers who may be interested in restoring it. It would not, however, be sufficient to refuse Conservation Area Consent in line with Historic Scotland’s recommendation. Further action would be required to ensure that the building is made secure and wind and watertight, and then restored and brought back into use. Historic Scotland’s recommendation that a repairs notice be served is not appropriate because that action is only applicable to listed buildings. The Scottish Ministers can extend the provision for Councils to undertake urgent works to preserve listed buildings to a building in a Conservation Area, but that action would do no more than make the building secure and wind and watertight. Further investigation would be required to discover what further action could be taken to secure restoration of the building. More powers would be available if the building were listed, so Historic Scotland could be approached to consider whether listing would be appropriate.
The Council could agree to demolition of the building, but then the application would have to be referred to the Scottish Ministers. It is considered that the building is important enough for efforts to be made to save it, so it is recommended that Conservation Area Consent be refused. It is further recommended that the Assistant Chief Executive (Development and Promotion) be instructed to research what further action can be taken to secure restoration of the building, including:
Ian T Mackay
Assistant Chief Executive