Paxton houses plan by former MP

FORMER Labour MP John Home-Robertson has applied to build two houses on a disused former stackyard in Paxton.

Mr Home-Robertson will hope his new application on land west of Smiddy's Cottage is more successful than a similar proposal at Paxton North Mains which was turned down last year.

The new application for two semi-detached houses aims to be 'sympathetic' to the surrounding landscape.

The Scottish Parliament campaigner, former MP for Berwick and East Lothian and MSP for East Lothian saw his first bid to built two homes at Paxton North Mains rejected in June 2008 by Berwickshire Area Committee on the grounds that the construction on a woodland would be deterimental to the area.

Meanwhile, an application to built eight houses at Hawkslaw Farm near Coldstream has also been submitted to Scottish Borders Council.

The proposal would see a steading on the farm converted into four homes, along with an additional four houses being built with a shared garage.

In a report sent to the planning department, SBC's Archaeology Officer Dr Christopher Bowles has said the 19th century steading may be on the site of a medieval farm, thus making it important to the agricultural history of the Borders.

He wrote: "The steading buildings are likely to date from the late 18th to early 19th century as they appear on the OS 1st edition map of Berwickshire (1858).

"As such, they are an example of a diminishing but key resource in the Scottish Borders social history.

"The steading buildings at Hawkslaw Farm represent an important but dwindling resource of our agricultural heritage."

While not opposing the development, Dr Bowles recommended a record is made of the farm steading in its current state, as well as the production of an archaeologist report to discover any significant agriculutural finds before work commences.