‘Disappointment’ after SBC decision is dismissed

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AN application to build two houses at Appletreehall, which was refused by Scottish Borders Council, has been approved on appeal.

But the decision has come under fire from the local councillors who initially opposed the plans.

W.L. Douglas, of Newhouses Farmhouse, sought outline consent for the development next to the B6359 from Hawick to Lilliesleaf road – at right angles to the existing settlement.

At the time of the initial hearing, it was revealed that the linear nature of the village was broken in 2003 by the modern house at Cairnlea, for which Mr Douglas again received approval on appeal to the Scottish Executive. The two new plots lie next to that house up the Lilliesleaf Road.

SBC’s roads officials had objected to the application on the grounds that it would represent unacceptable “ribbon development” and would require a new road access onto the B6359, which should be discouraged. There were also four other objections from local residents who shared the local authority’s concerns.

However, the plans have since been approved on appeal with a number of conditions attached, which include the limiting of the development to just two single storey houses adjacent to the bungalow at Cairnlea, access should be via the existing road to Cairnlea and there should be sufficient turning space within the development to allow vehicles to leave the site “in forward gear”.

There were also issues over landscaping, water and drainage.

But the decision has come under fire from the two councillors who sit on the planning committee.

Councillor Jock Houston, chairman of planning, said: “I have to say I am very disappointed. The decision ignores the linear character of the settlement as well as to my mind contradicting previous decisions by Reporters

“It also underplays I think road safety advice.”

While Councillor Ron Smith added: “I note the Reporter’s decision with regret as the houses now consented don’t seem to me to fit in with the rural area, simply extending a line of bungalows along the roadside.