Plan to transform former social club into a house has been rejected

Dumfries and Galloway Council has refused planning permission to transform a former social club on the Pennighame Estate into a house, and looks to have ended further plans for redevelopment.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 24th January 2022, 11:19 am
Updated Monday, 24th January 2022, 11:19 am
Pennighame Estate wished to turn Cree Hall into a four-bedroomed home
Pennighame Estate wished to turn Cree Hall into a four-bedroomed home

The luxury holiday destination near Newton Stewart applied to make alterations to Cree Hall and for a change of use to create a four-bedroomed home.

The timber hall was erected in 2015 by HMP Government after the original building which was used as a social club for prison staff burned down.

In addition to the estate community hall, there was also a desire to turn the Industrial Hall, the Industrial Workshop and the garages to the north of the walled garden into housing.garden.

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A statement prepared by A Paterson Designs on behalf of the applicant made the case that the site should be considered brownfield.

Planning consultant Mike Goddard wrote: “We accept that this is not a traditional building.

"However, it is a non-residential building and this is therefore a brownfield site.

"Conversion of the building to a dwelling in our opinion represents the beneficial redevelopment of a brownfield site.

"Furthermore, it is part of the estate and we have made compelling arguments that it meets the definition of three or more separate habitable occupied houses that are related to each other within the estate and in a location which creates a sense of place.

“There is a further point to be made in relation to each of these four proposed conversions to residential-that they involve no significant material increase in footprint or mass of built development.

"In all cases they would result in a visual enhancement of the existing site as a result of the particular proposal.”

However, the council failed to be swayed by the argument.

In his report of the refusal of the application, case officer Billy Murray wrote: “The proposed development fails to meet any of the criteria in Dumfries and Galloway Local Development Plan, which only permits the erection of new houses in the countryside in particular circumstances and none of these circumstances apply in this case.”

Two further applications to build a total of ten holiday accommodation units on the estate have been withdrawn.