Coldstream care home plan rejected

The site lies outwith the town's development boundary.
The site lies outwith the town's development boundary.
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Andrew Douglas-Home has been forced to go back to the drawing board after his fifth attempt to build a care home in Coldstream was rejected.

The landowner’s planning application to build on land south of Kelso Road, opposite the entrance to the Hirsel Estate, has been rejected by five votes to three at a Scottish Borders Council planning committee meeting.

It was his latest attempt to develop land which lies outwith the town boundary. An application to build a 60-bed care home on the same site was turned down in 2006.

Mr Douglas-Home has now made five submissions to build on the site. His first two were withdrawn, and the next two refused.

His latest proposal for a 32-bed care home was recommended for refusal on the grounds that the site is outwith the town’s development boundary. The land is currently used for grazing horses, but there were concerns that a care home had the potential to impact upon protected species, notably bats, badgers and breeding birds. There were also concerns that it would have an adverse impact on existing tree, woodland and hedgerows.

The planning officer’s report concluded that “the protection of the development boundary, development in the countryside, the protection of agricultural land and the protection of existing trees and woodland” were key considerations.

In the application, architects Aitken Turnbull stated that SBC’s social work department confirmed the need for a care home in Coldstream.

But the planning officer stated that the home “is not considered to offer significant community benefits that outweigh the need to protect the development boundary.”

The 2006 application was refused on similar grounds.