Planning condition that “defies all logic” is removed from Red House development

A holiday home designed to attract tourists to East Renfrewshire is set to go ahead after a “crazy” condition that it be knocked down after five years was removed.

The development will provide a place to hire bikes, a hub for repairing and charging bikes, holiday accommodation, the cafe and a washhouse for cyclists

Councillors ruled the condition — which meant the development would have needed to be knocked down in 2026 — defied “all logic”.

The proposal to convert the Red House on Ayr Road into a holiday let as well as build eight bothies, a cafe and a bike hire centre was approved by the council, with 17 conditions.

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But applicant Kenny Neison launched an appeal against the first condition imposed by planning officers, which meant permission was only granted until June 2026, when the site would need to be “restored to its former condition”.

The developer claimed the ruling rendered the “implementation of the development unviable and in effect nullifies the benefit of the planning permission”.

Councillor Stewart Miller, who chaired the local review body, which decided to remove the condition, said: “I’ve been on the planning applications committee for almost 10 years, and there’s a lot of times I can agree with the planners, a lot of times I’ll disagree with the planners.

“Sometimes you scratch your head and think where did this come from? To me, this particular condition defies all logic.

“There is no reason at all that I can see that we grant something planning permission and then we tell them to knock it down so we can determine its viability.

“I have never seen something like this in my life before and I hope never to see it again.”

A council officer told the meeting that the condition had been included due to the proposed cafe.

He said planning officers had reported the cafe “in itself would not be in keeping with the policies for the rural area”.

“However, the tourism and leisure facilities are acceptable in this location and the cafe could be acceptable as part of the overall proposal.

“It is therefore considered appropriate to condition the consent, in the first instance for a temporary period of five years, to ensure the tourism and leisure facilities are viable and the business overall can be established.”

Officers had wanted to “monitor the use of the site and ensure that the proposal is viable and the use remains appropriate to the rural location”.

Mr Neison’s appeal said the condition is “neither necessary or reasonable”.

Councillor Angela Convery said the condition was “just crazy” and should be removed.

Councillor Jim Swift said: “If we’re all about trying to encourage tourism and sustainable transport, and get people healthy and get them moving, we need to provide amenities.

“To make it financially impossible for anyone to do so is just ridiculous. It’s counter productive, I was astonished to read it frankly, I’m appalled and I think it’s disgraceful.”

Mr Neison’s development will provide a place to hire bikes, a hub for repairing and charging bikes, holiday accommodation, the cafe and a washhouse for cyclists.

His application stated the proposal would “reactivate a former tearoom as a facility to serve cyclists using the popular A77 cycle route, and which will support tourism, recreation, active travel and health lifestyles”.