PLANS to build a humble double garage in the grounds of a house in one of Dumbarton’s most exclusive streets have sparked an angry response from neighbours.

People living near the property in Kirkton Grove, Kirktonhill, say they’re worried that the garage will affect their privacy if the plans are given permission and that it could ‘overshadow’ neighbouring properties.

But in spite of those concerns, officials from West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) say the plans – lodged by Mr J. Lafferty, of 3 Kirkton Grove, for a site in the garden ground of the same property ­– should be approved.

Members of WDC’s planning committee will meet to consider the application next week – after an unnamed councillor asked for the proposal to be decided by the committee rather than the authority’s officials.

According to documents published on WDC’s website, three nearby households – one in Helenslee Road, the others in Kirkton Grove itself – are concerned about the new plans and how they relate to a previous application to convert an existing single garage at the property to ‘ancillary living accommodation’.

The site of the planned new garage is next to the current one, presently undergoing conversion – and immediately adjacent to the property next door in Kirkton Grove, as well as being a few yards from the garden of number 15A Helenslee Road.

In her objection to WDC, the occupant of number 2 Kirkton Grove states: “I have significant concern that in attempting to gain permission to erect another garage structure in a space which is within inches of the existing garage redevelopment into a dwelling, that the proposer may in future make attempts to adjoin both into one larger dwelling house.”

And the householder at 15A Helenslee Road, who has also objected, states: “This proposal is directly behind our bedrooms and living space, encroaching on our privacy – as is the existing garage that WDC have given him permission to convert into a house, again directly looking upon my living quarters.

“This is absolutely absurd. This is meant to be a conservation area.”

But WDC’s planning, building standards and environmental health manager, Pamela Clifford, says Mr Lafferty’s application should be approved – and adds in a report that a condition can be attached to any permission limiting the new structure to use as a garage.

In her report to the committee, Ms Clifford says: “The proposed development will have a limited and managed effect on the residential amenity and character of the neighbourhood and the established Conservation Area while allowing for reasonable development of the domestic curtilage of a dwellinghouse.”

Ms Clifford also suggests that in the event of permission being granted a condition be attached stating that “the ancillary structure hereby approved shall be used solely for domestic ancillary purposes as a garage and storage by occupier of 3 Kirkton Place, Dumbarton” – and that “for the avoidance of doubt, this domestic ancillary structure may not function, be used or be sold as an entirely separate dwellinghouse or commercial premises”.

The properties at both 2 and 3 Kirkton Grove are among several new-build homes constructed in the grounds of what was previously Islay Kerr House, originally used to house boarding pupils at the now-closed Keil School and later used as a nursing home.

Islay Kerr House itself was later converted into flats, while the grounds were subdivided to form smaller plots for several new detached houses.

The planning committee will meet to consider Mr Lafferty’s application at WDC’s headquarters in Dumbarton on Wednesday, February 8.