Development Management: May 2018 update

During May 2018, the Scottish Borders Council received 146 applications for planning permission and other consents, including listed building and conservation area consents and applications for works to protected trees.  The following applications are of particular interest:

  • Change of use of part of Unit 8 at Tweedside Park, Tweedbank (the former Plexus Facility) to form a gymnasium, children’s soft play area and associated café. (SBC Ref: 18/00635/FUL);
  • Erection of a further 64 dwellinghouses at Sergeants Park, Newtown St. Boswells for Eildon Housing (SBC Ref: 18/00486/FUL);
  • Erection of replacement village hall at Abbey St. Bathans in Berwickshire (SBC Ref: 18/00488/FUL); and
  • The formation of a static caravan park at Kirkburn, Cardrona in Peeblesshire (SBC Ref: 18/00390/FUL).

A Proposal of Application Notice has now been submitted in relation to the change of use of land to form a mobile luxury lodge holiday retreat on land west of Willowdean House, Foulden (SBC Ref: 18/00674/PAN).  It is proposed to hold a display of the proposed development in Foulden Village Hall on 29 June throughout the day with a question and answer session between 7.00pm and 7.30pm.  It is unclear from the application whether the display is to be staffed throughout the day and the council’s Principal Planning Officer has reminded the agent in this case that the public event, which must be held under Regulation 6 of the Development Management Procedure Regulations, should be staffed throughout the day [and not just for half an hour] by people knowledgeable in the proposals so that the community can participate meaningfully in the event and their views can be discussed.

The much anticipated public event in relation to the Proposal of Application Notice for a major tourist development of 500 static caravans, 50 touring caravans and associated facilities on land at Thirlestane Castle, Lauder, submitted on 5 December 2017 (SBC Ref: 17/01669/PAN), has now been arranged for Tuesday 5 June.  It will be held in Lauder Public Hall from 3.00pm to 8.00pm.

Check out the council’s Public Access Portal if you want to find out more about the above applications or any other application submitted in the past month.

During May 2018, the council decided 129 applications, only one of which was refused; for the change of use of a retail premises on Bank Street in Galashiels to a tattoo studio (SBC Ref: 18/00398/FUL).  At its meeting on 21 May, the Council’s Local Review Body (LRB) upheld the decision of the Chief Planning Officer to refuse planning permission for the erection of a dwellinghouse on land north-west of The Gables, Gattonside on the grounds of inadequate access (SBC Ref: 17/01617/PPP) and his decision to refuse planning permission for an extension to 34 Edinburgh Road, Peebles on the grounds of its form and scale (SBC Ref: 17/01731/FUL).  The LRB decided, however, to overturn the Chief Planning Officer’s decision to refuse planning permission for the erection of a dwellinghouse at Blacklee Brae, Bonchester Bridge and granted planning permission, subject to conditions and informatives (SBC Ref: 17/01685/PPP).

During May, the Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) dismissed the appeal against the refusal, by the council, of planning permission for residential development on land east of Edinburgh Road, Peebles (SBC Ref: 17/00015/FUL) (DPEA Ref: PPA-140-2067).  The Reporter concluded that the proposed development did not accord with the provisions of the local development plan, in particular policy PMD4, and that there were no other material considerations that would justify granting planning permission.

Six appeals remain to be determined against the refusal of planning permission; (1) for the demolition of existing buildings and the erection of four dwellings at Elders Yard in Newtown St. Boswells (SBC Ref: 17/01342/PPP; (2) for the construction of a wind farm comprising 12 turbines at Pines Burn, south west of Hobkirk (SBC Ref: 17/00010/FUL) (DPEA Ref: PPA-140-2069); (3) for the erection of 7 wind turbines on land north-west of Gilston Farm, near Heriot (SBC Ref: 17/00226/FUL) (DPEA Ref: PPA-140-2068); (4) for the erection of a poultry building at Hutton Hall Barns, Hutton in Berwickshire (DPEA Ref: PPA-140-2065); (5) for the erection of a poultry building at Easter Happrew in the Manor Valley, west of Peebles (DPEA Ref: PPA-140-2062); and (6) a residential development of 38 dwellings at Marchmont Road, Greenlaw in Berwickshire (DPEA Ref: PPA-140-2059).

Scottish Ministers have also called-in the application by Eildon Housing Association for residential development at Huddersfield Street, Galashiels in view of the proposed development’s possible significant level of flood risk (DPEA Ref: NA-SBD-054).  The Planning and Building Standards Committee determined on 26 March 2018 to grant planning permission for the proposed development, against the advice of the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, subject to clearance from Scottish Ministers (SBC Ref: 17/00695/FUL).  Having considered the proposal, Scottish Ministers have decided, in terms of Section 46 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 to require the application to be referred to them for determination.  A Reporter from the DPEA will now assess the written evidence in relation to the possible flood risk and submit a report with recommendations to Scottish Ministers for their consideration and determination.

Three wind farm applications submitted to the Scottish Government under Section 36 of the 1989 Act, to which the Scottish Borders Council has objected, remain outstanding: (1) the application for a 12 turbine extension to the existing Fallago Rig wind farm in the Lammermuir Hills; (2) the application to extend the operational life of the existing Fallago Rig wind farm to coincide with that of the extension (if approved) (DPEA case references WIN-140-5 & WIN-140-6); and (3) an application for the erection of 15 wind turbines on land at Birneyknowe, near Bonchester Bridge, south-east of Hawick (DPEA case reference WIN-140-7).


Author: douglas hope

Over fifty years experience in town and country planning, including twenty-one years with the Borders Regional Council (1975-1996) and twenty years with the Scottish Government as a Reporter for the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals.

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