House ‘could cause flood risk’ to other Crossford homes

A house already granted permission is under construction at Crossford, although the site is currently hidden behind dark screens.
A house already granted permission is under construction at Crossford, although the site is currently hidden behind dark screens.

Councillors have refused planning permission to Neil Pringle for a unique cantilevered house in Crossford, in the face of objections that it would place other people and buildings at risk of flooding.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) said that the changes to the land at the site, encroaching on to a flood plain, would result in increase water levels in the River Clyde upstream.

And it told the planning committee: “Landraising and the associated subsequent loss of the functional flood plain has resulted in an increase in water levels in the River Clyde upstream by approximately 300mm and will now cause a backwater effect.

“There is therefore concern that properties upstream could potentially be affected by flood risk.

“The creation of bunds within the site has contributed to the increase in water levels.

“Anecdotal evidence from local residents has also suggested that flooding has increased as a result of recent development in this area.”

The site, at Holm Road, is agricultural land where the rivers Clyde and Nethan join.

In a report to the committee, the house was said to be of “an innovative design, unique in appearance and concept” in the area.

The detailed plan was for a single storey, octagonal-shaped house with six projecting pods containing bedrooms, three of them partially cantilevered over the river banks, and outside decking overlooking the Clyde and Nethan. The centre of the main roof was topped by a cupola, and the roofs of the pods would be finished in grass.

South Lanarkshire Council turned down three previous applications from Mr Pringle following objections from SEPA about developments on the flood plain, in two cases arguing that the development would reduce the flood plain’s storage capacity so increasing the flood risk elsewhere.

But each time he appealed to the Scottish Ministers and they approved the plans. These were for four houses on Holm Road - three of them are now complete and the fourth is being built; for extensions to their gardens; and for two houses beside the Nethan, both currently under construction.

The report drawn up by officials recommended approving the plan but, following a discussion, Councillor Alex Allison moved as an amendment that it should be refused because of the objections raised by SEPA in relation to the flood risk. In a show of hands by 13 votes to six the application was rejected.