Development Management: August 2019 update

During August 2019, the Scottish Borders Council received some 120 applications for planning permission and other consents, including listed building and conservation area consents and applications for works to protected trees.  Large scale developments are few and far between at the moment, a reflection of the general malaise in the building industry.

In Kelso, a planning application has now been submitted for the change of use and conversion of the former High School to form 34 Extra Care flats and the erection of 47 dwellinghouses on the grounds (SBC Ref: 19/01244/FUL).  The proposal was the subject of pre-application consultation (PAN) in November 2018.  The public drop-in event held on 22 November 2018 was attended by over 40 people and the proposal, including the introduction of private housing, appears to have been well received.  The extra care housing, by Eildon Housing Association, will be 100% affordable housing for rent part funded by the Scottish Government and Scottish Borders Council.

In Peebles, a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) has been submitted for the development of 22 houses on land at Venlaw Farm to the east of Edinburgh Road (SBC Ref: 19/01239/PAN).  The proposal differs from the previously refused application in that it is intended to be a full application with details of the layout, house positions and house types.  The proposed public event that is required as part of the pre-application consultation process is to be held in the Peebles Burgh Hall on 25 September.  Watch out for the advert in the Peeblesshire News, which must be posted at least 7 days in advance of the public event.

Also in Peeblesshire, an application has been submitted for a screening and scoping opinion to assess the requirement for an Environmental Impact Assessment in relation to a proposed extension to Edston Quarry, west of Peebles (SBC Ref: 19/01180/SCR & 19/01180/SCO).  The proposal is to extend the life of the quarry for around 22 years with restoration.   It will be for officers of the council to decide whether an EIA is required in respect of this major development and the issues that any EIA should address.  A Proposal of Application (PAN) will be submitted in due course setting out a scheme of public consultation on the proposals, including a public consultation event.

At the western extremity of the region, close to Biggar, a proposal to convert Hartree House back to a hotel is causing concern amongst immediate neighbours for a number of reasons, principally the lack of an adequate access and noise from the existing permitted use as a wedding venue (SBC Ref: 19/01116/FUL).  A small housing development that is causing concern amongst the local community is the proposal for the erection of 4 dwellinghouses at The Orchard in Newstead, Melrose (SBC Ref: 19/01138/FUL).  A variety of concerns have been expressed in relation to the design and layout of the houses, the loss of trees and the protection of historic features on this site within a historic conservation village.  In Denholm, a proposal for the erection of 12 dwellinghouses at Jedward Terrace is also causing some consternation amongst neighbouring householders (SBC Ref: 19/01135/FUL).

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 August, some 120 applications were determined by the Chief Planning Officer under delegated powers.  Again, the vast majority related to the erection of single dwellinghouses or to alterations and extensions to dwellinghouses.  A particularly significant decision for the local community, after over a year’s deliberation, is the granting of planning permission and listed building consent for the partial demolition, internal and external alterations and extension to the former Crook Inn in Peeblesshire to form a community hub comprising café, office and ancillary facilities, and bunkhouse (SBC Ref: 18/01342/FUL).  Let’s hope that this community initiative is successful and it is not too long before the plan is implemented.  I shall look forward to visiting the new hub in this beautiful part of the Tweed Valley.

Only two applications were refused planning permission by the Chief Planning Officer under delegated powers in August: an application for listed building consent to demolish a 19th century cart shed and former granary building at Winfield Farm in Berwickshire on the grounds that it had not been demonstrated that the building could not be retained (SBC Ref: 19/00479/LBC); and an application for the erection of two dwellinghouses in Heriot village on the grounds that the siting and design of the houses is unsympathetic to the surroundings and the inadequacy of the access (SBC Ref: 18/01777/FUL).  At its meeting on 5 August, the Planning and Building Standards Committee also refused planning permission for two dwellinghouses at The Granary, Blyth Bridge in Peeblesshire on the grounds that the proposed houses did not relate sympathetically to the character of the surrounding landscape (SBC Ref: 19/00758/PPP & 19/00759/PPP).  The Committee granted planning permission for the erection of seven dwellinghouses at Orchard Park, Gattonside, Melrose (SBC Ref: 18/01795/FUL).

The Local Review Body (LRB) on 19 August considered a number of appeals against the Chief Planning Officer’s decision to refuse planning permission.  The LRB overturned the officer’s decision and granted planning permission for the following proposals: the erection of four dwellinghouses on land at Thornwood Lodge, Weensland Road, Hawick (SBC Ref: 18/01671/FUL); and the reinstatement of two windows in lieu of air conditioning units at Deans Bar, 3 Orrock Place, Hawick (SBC Ref: 17/01368/FUL).  The LRB upheld the officer’s decision to refuse planning permission for: the erection of a dwellinghouse at Beechwood, Pyatshaw, Lauder (SBC Ref: 19/00358/PPP); the erection of a dwellinghouse at Lilybrooke, West Flemington, Eyemouth (SBC Ref: 19/00330/FUL); the erection of a porch at 2 Deloraine Court, Hawick (SBC Ref: 19/00386/FUL)

In relation to appeals to the Scottish Government, it will be no surprise that the appeal against the council’s refusal of a request to issue a Certificate of Lawful Existing Use in respect of the residential use of the property ‘Glenacre’ at Camptown, south of Jedburgh has been upheld (SBC Ref: 19/00339/CLEU; DPEA Ref: CLUD-140-2003).  In deciding to grant a certificate of lawful use for residential purposes, the Reporter was satisfied that there was comprehensive and consistent evidence that the B&B/guest house use ceased at the end of 2013, and that the property had been in residential use in excess of fours since the B&B/guest house use ceased.

Two other appeals remain outstanding: (i) an appeal in relation to the proposal, by Eildon Housing Association, for the erection of 69 dwelling units at Coopersknowe, Galashiels (DPEA Ref: PPA-140-2075) and (ii) the long-standing appeal against the refusal of planning permission for the construction of a wind farm comprising 7 turbines up to 132 metres high to tip height on land at Barrel Law, north west of Roberton (DPEA Ref: PPA-140-2072).  The appeal against the erection of 7 wind turbines at Gilston Hill, near Heriot has been returned to the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) to re-determine the appeal following a successful challenge to the Court of Session to the Reporter’s decision, dated 7 February 2019, to approve the application (DPEA Ref: PPA-140-2068).

Two wind farm applications submitted to the Scottish Government under Section 36 of the 1989 Act, to which the Scottish Borders Council has also objected, remain outstanding: (1) the application for a 12 turbine extension to the existing Fallago Rig wind farm in the Lammermuir Hills; and (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).  The reports on these appeals have been with Scottish Ministers since July last year (2018).  Following the receipt of objections from Scottish Borders Council in April 2019, an inquiry is to be held in relation on an application for an expansion of the Crystal Rig Wind Farm in the Lammermuirs, comprising the addition of 11 turbines to the existing 90 turbines (DPEA Ref: WIN-140-8).

 

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.