Development Management: July 2020 Update

The council’s Planning Department remains closed to the public with case officers working remotely from home.  Nevertheless, new planning applications continue to be registered and are being processed in as normal a way as possible; applications continue to be publicised on the council’s website and in the local press.  In July, 107 applications for planning permission and other consents, including listed building and conservation area consents and applications for works to protected trees, were received, about the average level of around 100-120 applications per month.  However, the number decided, at just 82 decisions means that the number of outstanding applications continues to rise as a result of the delays imposed by Government restrictions on working.  Furthermore, there was no meeting of the Planning and Building Standards Committee for the second month in a row.  The Local Review Body met twice in July, conducted remotely by Microsoft Teams, to consider appeals against refusals of planning permission by the Chief Planning Officer under delegated powers.

The vast majority of applications received in July related to the erection of single dwellinghouses and alterations and extensions to dwellinghouses, and works to trees.  The stand-out application, which will be of particular interest to residents of Peebles, is that for the erection of 22 dwellinghouses on land on the east side of the Edinburgh Road (SBC Ref: 20/00753/FUL).  This site has been the subject of interest to housing developers for a number of years and all previous applications have been strenuously rebuffed.  This particular development was the subject of a public consultation, including a public event in November 2019, which generated considerable objection.  A large number of objections to the proposed development have already been received, so no doubt this application will be on the agenda of a future Planning and Building Standards Committee.

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 July, 82 applications were determined by the Chief Planning and Housing Officer under delegated powers.  Four applications were refused planning permission by the Chief Planning and Housing Officer under delegated powers: (i) the erection of a dwellinghouse at Old Belses, Jedburgh (SBC Ref: 20/00486/FUL); (ii) the erection of a boundary fence at 5 Coatburn Green, Darnick, Melrose (SBC Ref: 20/00491/FUL); (iii) the formation of a new boundary fence at 1 Forley’s Field, Goslawdales, Selkirk (SBC Ref: 20/00472/FUL); and (iv) the siting of three glamping pods on land south west of Stouslie Farmhouse, Hawick (SBC Ref: 20/00343/FUL).

The Local Review Body (LRB) met, remotely, on 13th and 15th July and considered six appeals, in total, against the Chief Planning and Housing Officer’s decisions to refuse planning permission under delegated powers.  The LRB reversed the Chief Planning Officer’s decision to refuse planning permission for the erection of a dwellinghouse at Thickside, Jedburgh (SBC Ref: 20/00235/PPP) and for a motor display and car sales building at Riverside, Jedburgh (SBC Ref: 20/00283/FUL) and granted planning permission for these developments.  The LRB also reversed the Chief Planning Officer’s decision to refuse planning permission for the change of use of a flat to business use at Shawburn Road, Selkirk and granted planning permission, for a temporary period of five years, for the use of the flat for textiles sales on weekdays only (SBC Ref: 19/01579/FUL).  The LRB upheld the Chief Planning Officer’s decision to refuse planning permissions for the erection of a dwellinghouse on land at Mill Lade, Blyth Bridge, Peeblesshire due to flooding concerns (SBC Ref: 19/01645/FUL) and his decision to refuse planning permission for the erection of a dwellinghouse at the disused sawmill, Cowdenknowes, Earlston due to the design of the proposed building (SBC Ref: 19/01611/FUL).

Two appeals to Scottish Ministers remain outstanding: (i) against the serving of an enforcement notice alleging the erection of a building without planning permission at Linthaugh Farm Cottage, Jedburgh (DPEA Ref: ENA-140-2015); and (ii) against the decision to refuse planning permission for the erection of 8 wind turbines at Wull Muir, Heriot (DPEA Ref: PPA-140-2080).  The application for a proposed retail store and restaurant on Commercial Road, Hawick, notified to Scottish Ministers because of flooding concerns, is also proceeding (DPEA Ref: NA-SBD-056).  Comments are being exchanged and an unaccompanied site visit is to be made by the Reporter delegated to deal with the case.

Following the receipt of objections from Scottish Borders Council in April 2019, a hearing was held on 10 March 2020 in Duns in relation to 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).  The council’s objection relates to the visual impact of the proposed red aviation lights to be fitted to seven of the eleven turbines and the impact on the landscape character of the area.  In view of the Covid-19 Government restrictions, the Reporters propose to conduct an unaccompanied inspection of the site and viewpoints sometime during August.  A test light is to be fitted to an existing turbine and the Reporters intend to view the test light after sunset from a number of viewpoints.