A 21st century solar holiday house being built at Coldingham Bay is causing quite a stir amongst visitors to the beach and local residents.
One visitor was so incensed when they saw the development that they wrote to Scottish Borders Council describing the house as “visually brutal”, going on to say: “I find it difficult to understand how the council could grant permission for such an inappropriate development, which will have a negative and permanently damaging effect.”
Other visitors have contacted The Berwickshire describing the roof as being like that of a football stadium and another family wrote to say they will be looking for a new beach to visit.
Council planners defend the decision to grant permission for the house saying: “Although non-traditional and a distinct move away from the safe and modest scheme approved, it is nonetheless considered to be harmonious with its unusual setting and to potentially add a very interesting development to the setting of the bay.”
However, the development is not without local critics: St Abbs Community Council describe the situation with construction of the house as “a fiasco” and Coldingham Community Council chairman Rhona Goldie added: “Coldingham Community Council is horrified at what has been allowed to happen to an award winning beach.
“SBC should never have approved this application without adequate consultation. We also feel the developer has paid scant, if any, attention to SBC once the permission was granted.
“Quite frankly the nature of our quaint beach, used frequently in film sets etc, has been destroyed. We fully understand the need for change, we need to evolve to ensure our survival, and we want our village and its amenities to survive, but in a properly controlled manner.
“This is out of control.”
The house replaces an old pavilion building and is being built as a holiday/weekend retreat for “a keen surfer/diver and walker”, who, according to his agent, “understands the problem of maintaining the bay’s rural and ecological beauty, while accommodating the many visitors to the beach in the summer”.
Planning permission was granted in 2010 but when building started last year numerous issues arose, mainly with how construction was being carried out.
A council spokesperson said this week: “We are aware of the concerns of the local residents in relation to this development.
“Some difficulties were experienced with regards to the building works and the access path. The developer has engaged with us to address these matters and as a result, the majority of the issues have now been resolved.
“Some minor matters still require to be addressed and we are in discussion with the developer over these items.”