Paxton houses get green light

PLANNING permission has been granted for two new houses in Paxton, despite objections from the Community Council, and what one Councillor described as "moral issues".

Plans to build the semi-detatched houses on the site west of Smiddy's Cottage, Paxton, came before the Berwickshire Area Committee last month, when member's agreed to visit the site before making a decision.

And now they have granted permission for the erection of the proposed one-and-a-half storey properties with dry dash rendered walls, timber clad features and Redland Norfolk pan tiles.

The plans also incorporate a six metre wide tree planting belt along the outer edge of the western and southern site boundaries, after a refusal of planning permission last June citied, amongst other reasons, that the development would result in the loss of a woodland resource and would subsequently have a detrimental impact on the landscape. The applicant has since felled the trees that were previously causing concern.

The proposals were given the go-ahead by the Berwickshire Area Committee, without the backing of Councillor Raw, who refused to vote for approval on moral grounds. He said: "I can not vote for this because we would be setting a president that anyone can go around chopping down trees as long as it meets their own needs.

"There is a moral issue here as well as a planning issue. The trees were felled in January, and I can not bring myself to vote for it."

But Councillor Fullarton said the trees that had been felled were basically "pretty scrubby christmas trees", and urged the committee to look at the positives. He said: "These pretty scrubby trees were felled by the owner for reasons which are not our concern. We have to look at the positives - new trees will be planted. I would support the recommendation to approve permission, we have to be positive and bold."

Councillor Jones agreed, saying: "I am persuaded by Councillor Fullerton. The re-planting of well planted trees, rather than the scrubby trees of before, is a good thing."

In discussing this application, Councillor Fullarton raised the question of Paxton's transport links. He said: "This is now a completed building group. I wonder if it is in the interest of transport links to put a bus shelter in Paxton to link this community - I am going to put that out there."