During the calendar year 2018, the Scottish Borders Council received and determined almost 1600 applications for planning permission and other consents, including listed building and conservation area consents (146) and applications for works to trees (76). Of these applications, only some 58 were refused consent (3.6%), which is a much lower percentage than previous years. Half of the 56 planning applications refused by the Chief Planning Officer under delegated powers were submitted for review to the Local Review Body (LRB). During 2018, the LRB considered some 29 refusals of planning permission and decided to reverse the decision of the Chief Planning Officer, and grant planning permission, in 16 cases. Of the 35 planning applications considered by the Planning and Building Standards Committee, only two were refused: an application for the erection of 4 dwellinghouses at Elders Yard, Newtown St. Boswells (SBC Ref: 17/01342/PPP); and a wind farm at Barrel Law, Selkirk (SBC Ref: 17/01255/FUL). Both refusals were the subject of appeals to Scottish Ministers; the former appeal was allowed and planning permission granted for the erection of the dwellinghouses, the latter appeal remains to be determined.
During 2018, a total of 12 appeals were submitted to the Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA); four planning appeals, three enforcement notice appeals, two amenity notice appeals, one conservation area consent appeal, one tree works appeal and one appeal against the refusal to issue a certificate of lawful use. Of the four planning appeals, two were upheld and planning permission granted (DPEA Refs: PPA-140-2070 & PPA-140-271), and two remain to be determined (PPA-140-2072 & PPA-140-2074). Two of the three enforcement notice appeals were dismissed (ENA-140-2011 & ENA-140-2012), one remains to be determined (ENA-140-2013). One amenity notice appeal was dismissed (ANA-140-2000) and the other remains to be determined (ANA-140-2001). The appeal against the refusal to issue of a certificate of lawful use was dismissed (CLUD-140-2002); the conservation area consent and tree works appeals remain to be determined (CAC-140-2000 & TWCA-140-2).
Planning applications must be determined in accordance with the development plan unless other material considerations suggest otherwise. In the Scottish Borders, the development plan comprises the approved Strategic Development Plan for South-East Scotland 2013 (SESPlan) and the adopted Scottish Borders Local Development Plan 2016. The Proposed Strategic Development Plan for South-East Scotland, SESPlan2, was submitted to Scottish Ministers in June 2017. The Examination of SESPlan2 was completed by Reporters appointed by Scottish Ministers in May 2018 and their report was submitted to Scottish Ministers on 20 July 2018. The response of the Scottish Ministers is awaited. The Main Issues Report (MIR) relating to the replacement Scottish Borders Local Development Plan (LDP2) was published in November 2018 and was the subject of wide consultation, including a programme of afternoon drop-in sessions and evening workshops held across the Scottish Borders during November and December 2018. The public consultation period ended on 31 January 2019 and the council anticipates that the local development plan LDP2 will be submitted to the council for approval in the autumn of 2019, following which the local development plan will be the subject of consultation and examination during 2020. It is likely to be the Spring of 2021 before LDP2 is adopted and replaces the existing local development plan.