Welcome to Scottish Borders Planning, the website of Douglas Hope, retired town and country planner with over 50 years experience in planning, including twenty-one years with the Borders Regional Council (1975-1996) and twenty years with the Scottish Government as a Reporter with the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA).  On this site you will find up-to-date information on the main planning issues affecting the Scottish Borders, including progress reports on the council’s review of the adopted Local Development Plan 2016 and its supplementary guidance on housing and renewable energy, as well as regular up-dates on planning applications and the decisions made on them by the council, either by the Planning and Building Standards Committee or the Chief Planning Officer under delegated powers (click the links under the heading “Categories” to see the most recent posts).

You will also find posts on the history of town and country planning in the Scottish Borders from its origins in the 1940s, when the ‘old’ county councils of Berwickshire, Peeblesshire, Roxburghshire and Selkirkshire produced the first County Development Plans for their areas and established the system of development control.  This history will look at the way town and country planning has responded to the economic and social challenges of the past 70 years through the creation of the Borders Regional Council in 1974 and Scottish Borders Council in 1996, organisations responsible for administering town and country planning over an area of over 1,800 square miles, stretching from Broughton and the Pentland Hills in the west to Eyemouth and the North Sea coast in the east and from Newcastleton in the south to Soutra Hill and the Lammermuirs in the north.  These posts will form the basis of a proposed book on the history of town and country planning in the Scottish Borders.

I also have an interest in the history of the outdoor movement and I was awarded a PhD in Cultural History by the University of Lancaster in February 2015 for my research into two organisations that pioneered outdoor holidays in the early part of the twentieth century; the Co-operative Holidays Association (CHA), which became Countrywide Holidays in the 1960s but ceased as a holiday provider in 2002, and the Holiday Fellowship, which continues to trade as HF Holidays.  2014 marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Reverend T A Leonard, the founder of the CHA and the Holiday Fellowship.  My biography of T.A. Leonard appears in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.  My book on T A Leonard and the Co-operative Holiday Association was published in hardback by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in January 2017.  A paperback version was published in March 2018.  For more information on my research, visit my website www.douglashope.co.uk.