A COUNCILLOR says a planning board ruling over a house has paved the way for 'Trojan Horse' applications to get contentious properties built.

Robert Moran spoke out as he slammed the decision to scrap a condition attached to a residential property built on farmland in Port Glasgow.

A prior ruling had stipulated that the property would be restricted to people involved in the equine business, martial arts academy or agriculture but this is no longer applicable.

Permission was initially granted in 2005 for a detached bungalow in the grounds of Parkhill Farm in 2005 with conditions attached.

The applicant had advised that the owner of Parkhill Farm intended to retire and said his daughter would take over the responsibility for the upkeep, stabling, training and breeding of horses at the farm.

It was also indicated that she would take responsibility for the running of the martial arts academy attached to the farm, and would additionally work in agriculture.

But the woman's circumstances later changed and her sister moved in and took over the operation of both businesses.

Despite the change at the property being contrary to conditions laid out in the original planning permission, officials this week recommended that the Section 75 stipulation be discharged - citing changes in national planning policy.

Although the recommendation was approved, some members of the board were unhappy about the situation and possible consequences.

Councillor Robert Moran said: "As a planning board we need to take a view on this particular application.

"As time goes by, if the house isn't needed for the original purpose, it can then be sold to anyone.

"What is the point of us sitting here as a planning board making decisions?

"It's a Trojan Horse, a good method to get a house built.

"I have my concerns about this whole scenario."

The board was told the Scottish Government's chief planner has advised against the use of conditions involving occupancy restrictions and Section 75 agreements.

Councillor Ciano Rebecchi asked what would replace S75 and was told nothing would.

Senior council official Stuart Jamieson said he had no issue with recommending that the previous conditions be discarded.

He said: "The person's business has changed.

"I am comfortable with the recommendation that Section 75 is discharged.

"Her sister is now running the business and the change in legislation is the primary driver."

Convener of the board David Wilson said: "I think we are quite robust in the way we deal with applications."

Councillor Innes Nelson added: "I am quite comfortable with this and I move to approve."