An applicant for planning permission can challenge the decision of the council to refuse planning permission or attach conditions to the grant of planning permission and can appeal against the non-determination of an application within the time period prescribed by regulations (usually two months). If the application was determined by the Planning and Building Standards Committee of Scottish Borders Council, any appeal must be made to the Scottish Government’s Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA). Details of how to submit such an appeal can be found on the DPEA website.
Recent decisions from the DPEA on applications determined by the Planning and Building Standards Committee include the upholding of an appeal against the decision to limit planning permission to a limited period of two years for the part change of use of Hartree House, Kilbucho, near Biggar in Peebleshire to a wedding venue and the erection of marquees, and the refusal of planning permission for the erection of 19 holiday lodges at Whitmuir Hall, near Selkirk. In the case of the proposal at Hartree House, the Reporter concluded that the imposition of a trial period of two years was unnecessary and granted planning permission without a time limit. In the case of the proposal at Whitmuir Hall, the Reporter concluded that the proposal accorded with the development plan and that there were no other material considerations to justify a refusal of planning permission; the Reporter did not consider that the proposed development would have a negative impact on the landscape or on the Whitmuirhall Loch Site of Special Scientific Interest subject to the imposition of a number of conditions. Details of both appeals can be found on the DPEA website (see case references PPA-140-2058 & PPA-140-2057).
Two appeals remain outstanding; against the council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a residential development of 38 dwellings at Marchmont Road, Greenlaw in Berwickshire, and against the council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a proposed windfarm of eight turbines at Howpark, Grantshouse, also in Berwickshire. Details of the appeals can be found on the DPEA website (case references PPA-140-2059 & PPA-140-2060).
Any proposal to construct or operate a wind farm with a capacity in excess of 50 megawatts requires the consent of Scottish Ministers under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 (rather than planning permission under the town and country planning acts). Four applications for wind farms, submitted to the Scottish Government under Section 36 of the 1989 Act, to which the Scottish Borders Council has objected, remain to be determined. An inquiry into the application for a 12 turbine extension to the existing Fallago Rig wind farm in the Lammermuir Hills and the application to extend the operational life of the existing wind farm to coincide with that of the extension (if approved) was held in the week beginning 21 August 2017 at the Carfraemill Hotel in Lauderdale. The details of both cases and the representations made at the inquiry can be found on the DPEA website (case references WIN-140-5 & WIN-140-6). It may be some time before a decision is made on these applications by Scottish Ministers. An inquiry into the application for a 14 turbine wind farm at Whitelaw Brae, near Tweedsmuir in Peebleshire was held in September 2016. After a few delays, the report of the inquiry has now been sent to Scottish Ministers for determination. An application for the erection of 15 wind turbines on land at Birneyknowe, near Bonchester Bridge, south-east of Hawick, to which the Scottish Borders Council, the community council, many residents of the local community and others have objected is to be the subject of an inquiry, probably later this year; the arrangements have yet to be finalised (see case reference WIN-140-7 on DPEA website). Watch this space for further news!