Development Management: February 2021 Update

In February 2021, some 127 applications for planning permission and other consents, including listed building and conservation area consents and applications for works to protected trees, were received.  The vast majority of applications related to the erection of single dwellinghouses and alterations and extensions to dwellinghouses, and works to trees.  There have been one or two more significant applications. 

On the south-western boundary of the Region, at Mosspaul, a planning application has now been submitted for the creation of a caravan site of 9 static caravans (SBC Ref: 21/00273/FUL).  Mosspaul has been operating (prior to the COVID pandemic) as an event space for groups of up to 50 people, including accommodation for up to 19 people.  The proprietor is intending to focus on smaller, family groups with “staycation” holidays the target.  It is estimated that nine static caravans could accommodate 36 people, in addition to the accommodation in the hotel building.  Renewed objections to the proposal have been made by the adjoining occupant of Mosspaul Bothy.

In Peebles, following a pre-application consultation in November/December 2019, a planning application has now been submitted for the extension of Edston Quarry to provide 2.2 million tonnes of hard rock at an annual production rate of 100,000 tonnes per annum over a period of 22 years (SBC Ref: 21/00222/FUL).  The area of the current planning permission is 10ha, the current excavation area being 5ha.  The proposed extension will give an overall site area of 13.5ha and an excavation area of 9ha.  Perhaps more controversial is the application for a new sand and gravel quarry at South Slipperfield, West Linton (SBC Ref: 21/00152/FUL).  This proposal was the subject of a pre-application consultation in October 2020. 

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.

The number of applications determined by the Chief Planning and Housing Officer under delegated powers in December, at 90 decisions, is again well below the number of applications received.  Consequently, the backlog continues to grow as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.  One approval that perhaps stands out from the rest is the granting of planning permission for the construction of a narrow gauge railway, new entrance and associated car parking at Ayton Castle in Berwickshire (SBC Ref: 20/00267/FUL).  The proposal is part of a long term strategy to improve and enhance Ayton Castle and its grounds as a destination for visitors.  The initial attention is being focussed on the restoration of the walled garden with its dilapidated potting sheds capable of being converted into a café, shop and toilets.  The proposed narrow gauge railway would pass through the grounds and connect the walled garden with the front of the main building.  An exciting proposal!

In Kelso, planning permission has now been issued, with a signed legal agreement in respect of contributions to education and off-site play provision, for the change of use of the main High School building and alterations to form 34 extra care flats and the erection of 47 dwellinghouses in the grounds (SBC Ref: 19/01244/FUL & 19/01245/LBC).  One other proposal that is worth a mention is that for a new factory and office facility for Cademuir Engineering on land alongside the A6091 at Tweedbank (SBC Ref: 20/01019/FUL).  This proposal is sited on land previously set aside as a landscape strip alongside the A6091 to screen the industrial estate and distance it from the main tourist route between the A68 and A7 but it seems that this fundamental element in the original design of the Tweedbank development does not now carry much weight.  Conditions have been attached to the planning permission in respect of the existing trees on the site and the landscaping of the site but the scale of the proposed building and its siting leave little room for any substantial screening from the main road.  No applications were refused planning permission by the Chief Planning and Housing Officer under delegated powers in February

I reported on the meeting of the Planning and Building Standards Committee on 1 February in my last post.  The meeting of the Local Review Body on 15 February was cancelled and, consequently, there is nothing to report. 

In relation to appeals to Scottish Ministers, the Report dealing with the appeal against the refusal of planning permission for the erection of a dwellinghouse on land at Burnside, Lower Green, West Linton in Peeblesshire (DPEA Ref: PPA-140-2084) has intimated his intention to allow the appeal and grant planning permission subject to a Section 75 Agreement in respect of education improvements.  The planning permission will not be issued until the agreement is reached and registered.  The appeal against the council’s refusal of planning permission for the erection of 52 holiday lodges on land north west of Willowdean House, Foulden in Berwickshire remains outstanding (DPEA Ref: PPA-140-2081).  In relation to the compulsory purchase order for 2 High Street/12 Market Place, Jedburgh, one objection remains outstanding and, accordingly, unless the objection is withdrawn a public local inquiry will require to be held (DPEA Ref: CPO-SBD-011).  A decision is also awaited on the application under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 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.