New houses at Grantshouse refused

the latest planning application for land at Harelawside, Grantshouse has been turned down by the council’s planning committee.

There have been several proposals for developing the land in recent years, none of which met with local approval and there have been numerous letters of objection from residents plus a 198 signature petition against houses being built there.

When Scottish Borders Council’s planning and building standards committee met on Monday to consider the latest application for seven houses to be built they voted 8-4 to refuse permission, against the recommendation of officers.

Councillor Carolyn Riddell-Carre moved against, claiming the loss of the picnic area for four of the houses was unacceptable.

“This is not consistent with the sense of place that we are trying to achieve in our small rural developments,” she said.” In this case, it will spoil the settlement and it is not well related to the existing building group.”

She was seconded by Mid Berwickshire Councillor Donald Moffat.

Earlier East Berwickshire Councillor Jim Fullarton said access should be taken directly from the loop of the old A1 and not the narrow road serving two farms, including Howpark.

“The petition shows that a lot of people are very concerned about what is proposed,” said Councillor Fullarton.

Previous applications included a change of use for a holiday park which was refused and in March 2009 an application for nine houses was withdrawn.

In a report to councillors, planning officers said: “The proposed development of seven houses with two accesses serving them from Howpark Road has given rise to a high level of public interest, including objections from the community council and individual households.

“The proposal is certainly one phase of a wider scenario represented within the applicants drawings, despite the fact that an application for a lorry park is ‘on hold’ for the time being, and despite the absence of an application for the depicted caravan park.

“But it must be considered on the basis that only this housing development might go ahead because the lorry park or caravan park may never materialise or be the subject of planning permissions.”

The main planning concerns were: loss of existing open space; the impact on the locality and the impact on road safety.