Seven new houses for Gordon approved ‘in principle’ by SBC

Village of Gordon
Village of Gordon

The number of houses to be built on the site of business premises Specialist Laminates Ltd at Station Road, Gordon has been restricted to seven.

In granting outline planning permission for the site to be developed, Scottish Borders Council’s planning and building standards committee agreed to include a condition to limit the number of houses built there.

A later application will be made for the house design and layout of the new scheme and although the applicant had included a layout plan, SBC planning officer Stuart Herkes told councillors at the meeting: “The indicative layout is not supported.

“Firstly the roads planning section has raised concerns that the access and parking arrangements would require to be substantially revised.

“Secondly, there would be a need to address what are liable to be some rather unsympathetic impacts upon the amenity of some surrounding properties.

“Thirdly, no or limited provision has been allowed for the establishment of appropriate landscaped boundary treatments between the development and neighbouring residential properties.”

The plans for the unused brownfield land are to build six three/four bedroom detached houses and one two bedroom detached house.

Seven representations were received by the council about the plans - six of them objecting and one expressing concern.

Areas of concern for local residents include: loss of privacy and light; one property owner needs to maintain access for maintenance reasons to the rear or side of their premises; existing surface water problems; no capacity for the new houses within the public mains sewer system; protected pipistrelle bats are living in the building that would be demolished; lack of need for this type of housing in the village; the site is better suited to small industrial units or garages; road safety because of its proximity to a busy crossroads.

Gordon and Westruther Community Council objected to the scheme, giving four reasons for opposing it: the current sewage system is at capacity; increase of traffic at a busy junction; colony of bat in the roof space of the existing workshop which would be demolished; concerns that the hedge on the northern boundary be retained.

Acknowledging the concerns raised by neighbours and roads officers, planning officer Mr Herkes advised councillors that “the principle of this development is permissible”.