Stone shed conversion on Angus estate raises ‘dangerous precedent’ fears

A dream retirement home in an historic Angus forest has been given the go-ahead, despite fears it will open the floodgates to development there.

Angus development standards committee councillors overwhelmingly backed an official approval recommendation for the site opposite Pathhead Cottages on Carnoustie’s Panmure estate, where  an old stone joinery building will be incorporated into an eco-friendly three-bedroom home with sedum roof.

Council planning officials said they considered the house to comply with relevant policies, but the bid attracted a number of objections from estate neighbours who said the site had only emerged as a result of a previous owner’s failure to comply with the terms of a felling licence.

Conditions attached to the approval will see more than 400 trees re-planted as a result of discussions with the Forestry Commission, which the committee was told would have been the number involved in full compliance with the previous licence.

Near neighbour Gordon Tosh told councillors: “It is important to differentiate between a brownfield site, which is the stone shed, and a greenfield site, which is the woodland.

“I’ve lived on Panmure estate for many years, safe in the knowledge that the woodland would not be removed, but that is not the case any more.

“If this application is approved, you will very soon receive applications from very persistent developers wanting the same. Nobody wants to see the woodland destroyed and approval would set that precedent.”

Gary Adams, speaking on behalf of the applicants, said his environmentally-conscious clients wished to create an attractive retirement home, and had the reinstatement of the woodland “at the very heart” of their idea.

“It is intended to create a building which sits lightly in the landscape, the design has been done in a sensitive way and they don’t want to come here and cause trouble,” he said.

However, Carnoustie Independent councillor David Cheape moved against the approval recommendation, describing the L-shaped home as “completely out of proportion with the shed it aims to maintain and out of character with the other buildings in the area.”

He added: “If approved, this would give the green light to further development within the traditional woodland estate.

“This would set a dangerous precedent to build on greenfield sites on the basis of re-plating thereafter.”

Arbroath SNP councillor Alex King described the proposed house as a “very exciting design”, backing approval. The committee voted 10-2 in favour.