Standard Report for Planning Applications - Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

Standard Report for Planning Applications - Comhairle nan Eilean Siar





(REF NO 09/00607/PPD)

Report by Director of Development

PURPOSE OF REPORT Since this proposal received seven letters of

representation from separate parties which contain

matters which are relevant material planning

considerations, the application should not be dealt with

under delegated powers and is presented to the

Comhairle for a decision.


1.1 There are no legal, financial or other constraints to the recommendation being



2.1 This application is for Planning Permission to site a portacabin as a temporary office

and store, with staff car parking and access to and from the sea. The site is located

at Eilean-Anabruich, Maraig, Isle of Harris. The site area is approximately 266

square metres, on sloping land adjacent the road to Rhenigadale and next to the

dwellinghouse at 3 Eilean-Anabruich, Marig. Officers of the Comhairle have

requested further details regarding access provision, details regarding removal of the

portacabin and reinstatement of land after the permission has expired, further

information regarding usage, and likely noise levels. The applicant has been cooperative

in submitting information to assist in the assessment of the development.

2.2 The proposal is considered acceptable because it is temporary in nature; reinstatement

of the site is required in order to minimise landscape and amenity impact.

The issues raised have been considered but not deemed significant enough to

warrant refusal or are proposed to be dealt with through planning conditions. Given

the temporary nature of the development and the use of appropriate planning

conditions, the proposal is recommended for approval.


3.1 It is recommended that the Comhairle APPROVE the application subject to the

conditions shown in Appendix 1.

Contact Officer Eric Wojchik Tel: 01851 709554 Email:

Appendix 1. Schedule of proposed conditions

2. Site plan and Location plan

Background Papers: None



4.1 It is proposed to temporarily site a portacabin as an office and store, with associated

car parking and an access path to and from the sea. The portacabin measures

3 metres by 10 metres, is cream in colour, and is currently on site. The land was

scraped to allow a base to be laid and the peat was pushed to the side. A hard

standing of type 1 stone (chip and dust) has been partly laid to create a path to the

shore, a hardstand for the portacabin, and space for car parking. The temporary

permission will allow Marine Harvest an operational office prior to applying for

planning permission for a permanent site office on Loch Seaforth in the future.

4.2 The application was submitted in a valid form by Marine Harvest Scotland Ltd, Farms

Office, Blar Mhor Industrial Estate, Fort William, PH33 7PT.


5.1 Representations have been received from the following:

a) Mr and Mrs I Maciver, 3A Eilean-Anabuich, Marig, Isle of Harris HS3 3AQ;

b) Ms J Beecroft, 138 Wigan Road, Bolton, Greater Manchester BL3 5QL;

c) Mrs E M James, 68 Thorn Road, Swinton, Manchester M27 5QT;

d) Mr and D J Morrison, Toddun, Marig, Isle of Harris HS3 3AG;

e) Mrs A De Jong, Sands House, Moor Lane, South Newington, Banbury

OX15 4JQ;

f) Mr R Kelly, 51 Wrigsham Street, Coventry CV3 5FU;

g) Mr and Mrs Garty, Apple Lea, Wigan Road, Euxton, Chorley PR7 6JH.

5.2 The full terms of the representations can be read on file at the Development

Department. However, they can be summarised as follows:

a) As a neighbour, we are alarmed that croft land in the National Scenic Area

has been proposed for commercial use. Eileananabruich is not an

appropriate site for a commercial enterprise that will inevitably produce noise;

b) The Development Management policy within the Development Plan clearly

states that settlements should retain their distinctive character, and

development proposals should be easily absorbed into their surroundings

without harming its social, economic, or environmental characteristics. This

proposal does not comply with these policy aims;

c) The Development Plan states that undeveloped countryside and coastline

should remain unchanged, particularly when the carries both International and

National Natural Heritage Designations, unless exceptional circumstances


d) If the Planning Authority were minded to approve the temporary application,

this could create a precedent in favour of a much larger, permanent shore

base, which would not be in keeping with the area;

e) The proposed large, cream coloured portacabin would be very obtrusive and

mar the scenic quality of this internationally important landscape;

f) The development would have a significant impact on the habitats of wildlife,

such as otters;

g) The character of the village would be altered from residential to industrial, with

all the noise and traffic associated with the site;

h) The unsightly, commercial unit will spoil the shoreline and deter others from

settling here;

i) The site Marine Harvest have chosen for their operation is totally

inappropriate in this National Scenic Area since it is in a very prominent

position, in the middle of the south shore of the bay which has wide visibility;

j) This development is detrimental to the aquatic wildlife, and the established

yachting anchorage will be affected;

k) There is already a jetty on the north shore of Loch Maaruig which has been

used by different fish farms over the years, and an additional shore base,

albeit temporary, can only add nuisance in terms of traffic congestion on the

single track road.



6.1 ‘A single storey building up to 30sq metres does not require a building warrant, but

any work would need to comply with the current standards.’


6.2 ‘No objections.’


6.3 ‘The proposed development can not be served by the public water supply or a public

wastewater system.’


6.4 ‘Given that this will be a temporary arrangement according to the application, SNH

does not consider that it will lead to an adverse effect on the integrity of the NSA.

SNH suggests that a planning condition limiting the period of use of this structure

pending its replacement by a permanent building, be attached to any consent.’


7.1 The full terms of the applicant’s views can be read on file at the Development

Department but can be summarised as follows:

a) The proposal would necessitate scraping the surface, levelling and laying

down a hard standing to mount the portacabin, allow staff car parking, turning

lorries and access to the sea;

b) We hope to develop a more permanent proposal over the next twelve months

planned for the same location;

c) The noises which would be associated with the development are initially

relating to the works involved in clearing/preparing the site and then it would

be purely staff cars entering and exiting the site as per point 4 above and daily

departure and arrivals of personnel boats. The boat movements will generally

be one boat departing shortly after starting time and arriving shortly before

closing time;

d) The noise impact should not be onerous as it will generally be restricted to car

and boat movements at the beginning and end of the day. During the day it

will largely be quiet;

e) The overall proposal is exactly as stated on the application – we are seeking

temporary planning approval to site a portacabin for staff with a small storage

area and create an access path to the sea to enable access and egress to the

boats. This will allow the site staff to have a temporary facility now and we will

prepare a plan of a permanent proposal. We do not plan to install a

jetty/slipway at this stage. With regards your comments relating to the colour

of the portacabin we will not be permitted to paint it;

f) We have permission of the tenant and North Harris Trust to use the field

proposed, and they don’t appear to think it will impact them. The residential

property to the east of the site is, I believe, a holiday home and is not

occupied for periods of time;

g) We employ a number of staff in the area and the longer term plan is to set up

an appropriate good shore base facility for staff and a more permanent sea

access to serve our sites in Loch Seaforth. The staff facility we are looking at

is a log cabin type building and would have canteen, office, wash area,

storage and perhaps a bedsit for visiting staff. We would also propose a

slipway and pontoon to allow safe access and egress to the boats. These

plans are subject to gaining planning and financial approval.


8.1 There are no previous planning decisions in relation to this site.


9.1 Section 25 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 says, “Where, in

making any determination under the planning Acts, regard is to be had to the

development plan, the determination shall be made in accordance with the plan

unless material considerations indicate otherwise.” Attention is therefore drawn

initially to any relevant policies or other elements of the Development Plan. This is

then followed by comment on any other material considerations before a conclusion

is reached.

9.2 Western Isles Structure Plan


DM1 ‘Development proposals that can

be absorbed without harming the

Given the temporary nature of the

proposal, the development is of a

local social, economic or scale and duration that can be

environmental characteristics of

the Sustainable Community Area

absorbed without undue harm to

the characteristics of the area.

in which they are located, will

The site is of a temporary nature

generally be supported.’

and should not cause excessive

impact in terms of neighbour



In dealing with applications for

development the Comhairle will

take account of the requirements

of other relevant Structure Plan

policies and will ensure:

i) quality siting, landscaping

and designs that incorporate

sustainable management

techniques. (In this regard the

Comhairle will encourage

development that follows the

guidance contained in the

Scottish Executive publication

‘Designing Places’ as well as

its own Design Guidance);

ii) no undue harm to

neighbouring uses as a result

of the development;

iii) appropriate measures are in

place for the safe movement

of traffic and associated

parking both on and off site;

iv) the impact on the natural

heritage is fully considered

(e.g. the Western Isles

Landscape Character

Assessment will be used);

The Comhairle will seek to

facilitate development that would

otherwise be unacceptable by the

Due to the temporary nature of

proposal, the development

accords with this policy.

The siting and quality of design of

the portacabin is not appropriate

for long-term use on the site.

Temporary usage will require the

applicant to reinstate the land and

remove the caravan from the site

after planning permission expires.

It is considered that the level of

noise created by the movements

of the boat twice a day will not

cause undue impact on

neighbouring use/amenity.

Comhairle Technical Services has

assessed vehicular access and

parking/turning to be acceptable.

In relation to its setting, the

structure and associated

parking/path are not of a large

scale; the development will cause

a degree visual impact, though

such impact will be temporary in

imposition of conditions.”


There will be a minimal impact

from the actual works on site, with

scraping and infill limited to a

small area and the requirement to

reinstate the site through planning


Due to the proposal’s temporary

nature, SNH do not consider that

the development will compromise

the integrity of the National

Scenic Area.

9.3 Western Isles Local Plan


LP/DM1 ‘In assessing development The quality of the development

proposals an appropriate and and design are acceptable only

acceptable quality of for temporary use and siting.

development and design that

relates to setting will be The scale of the development is

required...In assessing small suitable in relation to its setting.

scale development of all types

the potential incremental impact The proposed site is not

of development on the area as a

whole will be considered.’

considered to be outwith the


This policy says that account will

be taken of Structure Plan Policy

DM7 (quoted above) and of the

“Development and Design

Considerations” contained in

Appendix 2 of the Finalised

Western Isles Local Plan.

Relevant considerations in this

appendix are as follows:

“Location – appropriate and

sympathetic location in the

landscape or townscape.”

‘Any detrimental impact on

neighbouring uses/amenity

should be minimised.’

In relation to its setting, the

structure is not on a large scale.

Though the structure and

associated works will be visually

obtrusive, the limited time scale

of the development mitigates any

permanent impacts.

The development is likely to have

an impact on neighbouring

use/amenity, but this impact is

deemed to be acceptable for the

short-term period of the duration

of the permission.


10.1 The site is sensitive because it is within the National Scenic Area and is highly visible

from the A859 which links Stornoway to Tarbert. Moreover, currently there is no

commercial development in this area, so any future development, especially

development of a permanent nature, would require sensitive design and siting, and

pre-application discussions with the Comhairle’s Planning Service would be

encouraged. The Planning Service would not likely support a permanent siting of this

structure and associated works at this location due to its proximity to a nearby

residence and the likelihood of amenity and use conflicts. The Planning Service is of

the view that a temporary siting in this location will not cause undue harm to the

amenity of the area, provided that the site is fully reinstated to its former state.


11.1 For the reasons set out in paragraphs 9.2, 9.3, and 10.1, it is recommended that the

application be approved.



Condition 1


Condition 2


Condition 3


Condition 4


Condition 5


Condition 6


Condition 7


This planning permission shall expire on 28 February 2011. On or before the

expiry of this permission, the development to which this permission relates

shall cease and the portacabin, associated hardstanding, pipes, and other

fitments associated with the development shall be removed and the site

restored to grass by grading the land, cover with topsoil, and seed to the

satisfaction of the Comhairle as planning authority.

To maintain a measure of control over temporary development in the interests of

visual amenity.

Throughout the life of the development provision shall be made within the

curtilage of the portacabin for 1 car parking space. The space shall be at least

2.5m by 5m wide, and drained to the satisfaction of the Comhairle as planning

authority. The space shall be kept clear of obstructions and retained only for

the parking and turning of vehicles throughout the life of the development.

To ensure adequate provision is made for parking clear of the highway in the interests

of road safety.

Despite the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes)

(Scotland) Order 1997 (or any similar Order), the use of the application site shall

be limited to “portacabin as a temporary office and store with staff car parking

and access path to and from the sea”. Any other or additional use shall require

a separate specific planning permission.

Because the Comhairle as planning authority wishes to retain control over the site use

in the interest of the appearance of the area and the physical condition of the site.

Any security lighting within the site shall be faced inward to minimise light

pollution outwith the site.

To protect neighbouring properties from light pollution.

No symbols, signs, logos or other lettering shall be displayed on any part of the

site or building, without the prior written approval of the Comhairle as planning

authority, except small signage necessary for Health and Safety reasons.

To minimise the level of visual intrusion and protect the quality and character of the

landscape as far as practicable.

No storage of materials shall take place in the open on the site that is the

subject of this planning permission at any time throughout the life of the

development unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Comhairle as planning


In the interests of visual amenity and to safeguard the parking and manoeuvring


Surface water drainage will be provided for and maintained via the chipped

hardstanding for the siting of the portacabin, parking/turning area, and the path

to the sea. These drainage arrangements will be implemented and maintained

throughout the life of the development unless otherwise agreed in writing with

the Comhairle as planning authority.

To allow for the sustainable drainage of the land.


Site Plan and Location Plan

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