Green light for Bubble Domes on North Coast despite opposition
Above: Location plan showing the bubble domes in woodland area to the west of Cromore House
Plans for five new bubble domes in Portstewart have been given the green light, despite concerns over their impact on the nearby former nursing home, Cromore House.
The site is located off the Cromore Road in Portstewart.
The proposal involves five bubble domes for holiday use, along with a reception unit, guest and staff parking and landscaping.
It was approved at a meeting of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday, August 23.
Above: Cromore House
The approval came despite opposition from the owner of the listed Cromore House building, who said the plans would impact “the residential amenity” of the house, including loss of privacy, noise, odour, light and general disturbance, and impact on character.
A lawyer representing the house owner told the planning committee that “the form and nature” of the domes is “inappropriate”, emphasising that the site is an “historic wilderness wooded area”, not a “holiday park”.
She added that the reception building design is “at odds with the design of the estate” and said that future funding for the restoration of the house would be “unlikely” if the holiday park was approved.
Above: Front elevation of one of the bubble dome units, finished with opaque dark green colour pvc fabric, transparent pvc glazing, with screen fencing of natural hazel wattle.
Above: Floor plan of one of the bubble domes
A report submitted to the committee concedes that on assessment of the proposals “it was considered bubble domes six and seven were too close to the shared boundary [with Cromore House] resulting in noise and disturbance concerns given the relatively open boundary”.
As such, these bubble domes were removed from the layout with the proposed development now including a total of five.
The report continues: “The design of the bubble domes and reception building in terms of layout, scale, massing and materials is considered acceptable.
“The proposal is acceptable in terms of visual integration and will not harm rural character. The proposal is not considered to create unacceptable conflict with adjacent land uses and there is no unacceptable adverse effect on neighbouring properties.
“The proposal does not harm the setting of nearby listed buildings. The proposal is acceptable in terms of archaeology.”
Above: The proposed reception facility.
Each bubble dome will consist of a living area, bathroom and bedroom. They will be finished in opaque dark green PVC fabric and transparent PVC glazing with a screen fencing.
The maximum height of the bubble domes is approximately 3.5m. The reception building will be finished in natural timber cladding for the walls and a flat roof membrane. Windows and doors are to be aluminium double-glazed frames.
The report concludes: “The proposal should not adversely harm the residential amenity of Cromore House. The bubble domes will not result in any loss of light or overshadowing to Cromore House given their positioning and small height. The proposal will not result in adverse noise or light pollution to this neighbouring property and this will be controlled by planning conditions.
“The design of the bubble domes and reception building in terms of scale, massing and materials is considered acceptable. The development is low-rise, contained within a compact site and is utilising existing landscaping to aid integration. The visual impact of this proposal is softened due to the vegetation cover provided by existing trees/landscaping and proposed planting.”