August 17, 2017
We supported the delivery of a high quality landmark building on the banks of Loch Venachar.
In 2014 we received an unusual application for a respite house on the banks of Loch Venachar, near to Callander. The respite house will be operated by a charity ‘It’s Good 2 Give’ and will be for use by young people with cancer and their families for short holiday respite breaks. The proposal was a departure from the development plan but the Members gave its full support and this year we have seen the respite house, now known as ‘Ripple Retreat’ fully constructed and ready for opening in 2017.
The location was sensitive, being on a stretch of natural shoreline of Loch Venachar, a loch which is known for its sailing, fishing and other quiet recreational activities. The site was adjacent to the National Cycle Route (NCN 7) at a section that runs between Aberfoyle and Callander.
The proposal was determined under the tourism policies of the plan but new standalone holiday letting proposals at this location was not supported. However, given the links to the wider forest area, and Callander by the core path (the NCN7), the site was accessible and offered a good location. In addition, our statutory design guidance stated that ‘landmark buildings’ are appropriate in some countryside locations but a high standard of design is essential. This was clearly a unique proposal.
Tony Kettle, an internationally renowned architect who designed the Falkirk Wheel offered his expertise and support through his architectural firm (Kettle Collective). The design is inspired by the waterside setting, by the ripples in the loch and the way they sparkle as they catch the sun – and this is reflected in the proposed ‘ripple’ roof.
The materials (zinc, glass, oak) sympathetically fit the building into the local landscape and the design makes the best use of passive solar gain with larger areas of glazing facing westwards.
We are delighted that we have been able to support this high quality landmark building that will bring respite to young people with cancer and their families. This year our monitoring officer and landscape architect have worked closely with building contractors to ensure a high quality finish and the best solutions for this sensitive loch shore location. We have also approved planning permission for a new pier that will give access to the water for the guests of the retreat.