Development Management: July/August 2021 update

In July and August, a total of some 270 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 related to the erection of single dwellinghouses and alterations and extensions to dwellinghouses, and works to trees.  In Galashiels, an application has now been received for the demolition of the Abbotsford Arms Hotel and the erection of a drive-thru coffee shop to be operated by Starbucks franchisee Burton and Speke Ltd, seven days a week between 6.00am and 10.00pm (SBC Ref: 21/01380/FUL).  The proposed unit would have both internal and external seating and parking for 17 cars.  A more welcome proposal than previous ideas!

Another interesting application is that for the refurbishment of the spectator stand at Gala Fairydean Club at Netherdale, Galashiels (SBC Ref: 21/01335/LBC). The stand is in poor condition and Historic Environment Scotland welcome the proposals to bring this A-listed building back into use. According to Historic Environment Scotland, “The Gala Fairydean football stand is an outstanding work of Late Modernist Formalism in Scotland. Designed by renowned architect Peter Womersley alongside engineers Ove Arup (1963-65), the building represents part of an international trend toward a more sculptural, aesthetic approach to architecture as opposed to the pure functionalism associated with earlier International Modernism.” The proposed work will be welcomed not only by the purists, who wish to see this building retained as a prime example of the work of Peter Womersley but also by the members of Gala Fairydean Club.  It is a pity that the same approach is not being taken by the owner of another of Peter Womersley’s masterpieces, the Bernat Klein Studio at High Sunderland, near Selkirk.

In Peeblesshire, an application has been submitted under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1898 for an amended wind farm scheme in the Clioch Hills (SBC Ref: 21/01134/S36). A scheme for 18 turbines (115m height to tip) was approved by Scottish Ministers in July 2016 following a public inquiry in May/June 2015.  The developer considers that the approved scheme under-uses the site and the amended scheme comprises 12 turbines with a maximum blade tip height of 149.9m. Will SBC maintain its opposition to the wind farm or consider the amended scheme an improvement and remove its opposition? The council has also been consulted on a proposed wind farm west of Moffat (Rivox Wind Farm), comprising 33 turbines with a maximum blade tip height of 230m (SBC Ref: 21/01129/NECON).  It seems that there is a never-ending production line of onshore wind farms as well as off-shore wind farms. Preparing for COP26?

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 July and August, at 248 decisions, continues to be below the number of applications received.  The backlog continues to grow as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.  In Galashiels, planning permission was granted for phase 2 of the Buckholm Corner residential development, which comprises 69 affordable dwellinghouses for rent by Eildon Housing Association (SBC Ref: 21/00417/FUL). The saga of the use of the residential property Greenloaning on the Loan in West Linton goes on. The latest application for a certificate of lawful use for the use of the property for short stay commercial letting was refused on 18 August 2021 (SBC Ref: 21/00958/CLPU).  No doubt an appeal will be forthcoming (see below).

Eleven applications were refused by the Chief Planning and Housing Officer under delegated powers in July/August: the majority related to the erection of dwellinghouses and ancillary development; one related to the deposit of excavated soil/gravel from a house building operation in a nearby field in Peebles (SBC Ref: 21/00896/FUL); and one related to the siting of a mobile catering van to serve mountain bikers, cyclists etc. in Innerleithen (21/00836/FUL). Appeals to the Local Review Board can be expected!

The Planning and Building Standards Committee has met once in the past two month, on 2 August, when the Committee considered four applications. Planning permission was granted for the extension of Edston Quarry, near Peebles (SBC Ref: 21/00222/FUL), for the erection of 69 dwellings on the site at Buckholm Corner, Galashiels (SBC Ref: 21/00417/FUL); for the erection of a dwellinghouse and detached barn at Eckford Moss Cottage, near Kelso (SBC Ref: 21/00293/FUL); and for the erection of over-night accommodation for dogs and a cabin for staff use at a canine care centre at Newlands, north of Hawick (SBC Ref: 21/00687/FUL).

The Local Review Body (LRB) met on 12 July and overturned two decisions by the Chief Planning Officer to refuse planning permission for: (i) replacement windows and door at Linden Causewayend, Ancrum (SBC Ref: 21/00008/RREF); and (ii) the erection of a dwellinghouse at The Old Barn, Westwater, West Linton (SBC Ref: 21/00010/RREF) and granted planning permission for both developments.  At its meeting on 16 August, the LRB overturned three decisions by the Chief Planning Officer to refuse planning permission for: (i) the erection of a dwellinghouse at Dogcraig Cottage, Scotsmill, Peebles (SBC Ref: 21/00007/RREF); (ii) the erection of a dwellinghouse at Rachan Woodlands, Broughton in Peeblesshire (SBC Ref: 21/00011/RREF); and (iii) for the use of a site at Acredale Industrial Estate, Eyemouth for business and industry (SBC Ref: 21/00014/RREF).

As predicted an appeal has quickly been submitted to Scottish Ministers against the refusal of the council to grant a Certificate of Lawful Use for the use of the property, Greenloaning at West Linton, for short stay commercial letting (DPEA Ref: CLUD-140-2004 & SBC Ref: 21/00958/CLPU).  An appeal has also been submitted in respect of the refusal of listed building consent for replacement windows at Rowanside, The Row, Longformacus in Berwickshire (DPEA Ref: LBA-140-2006).

In relation to existing appeals to Scottish Ministers, the compulsory purchase order for 2 High Street/12 Market Place, Jedburgh was confirmed on 11 August 2021 (DPEA Ref: CPO-SBD-011).  The appeal against the refusal of advertisement consent for Bill Board signage at the Lidl store in Hawick was dismissed on 16 August and advertisement consent was refused (DPEA Ref: ADA-140-2000).  The appeal against an enforcement notice alleging the use of open amenity land as garden ground and the erection thereon of two sheds and a boundary fence, at 1 Broad Street, Eyemouth remains outstanding (DPEA Ref: ENA-140-2016). 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).