£20M housing plan

FRESH controversy looks set to be ignited with new plans for a £20million housing development in West Linton, writes Mark Entwistle.

Last November, Springfield Properties was refused permission for an 82-house scheme at Robinsland, but the company has now lodged a new application with Scottish Borders Council.

The Elgin-based firm had appealed against the original refusal decision but its appeal was rejected by a Scottish government reporter.

Springfield Properties has now submitted a fresh application which would increase the number of proposed properties from 82 to 92.

The original application for the 4.3 hectare site sparked 36 objections and did not meet the local authority’s design standards.

Local councillor Catriona Bhatia (Tweeddale West, Lib Dem) says the increase in the number of new homes proposed is bound to cause controversy.

“This is bound to cause concern in the village. The site originally had an indicative housing allocation number of 45 and the 92 properties now being proposed is more than double that.

“But until we see the detailed plans it is hard to say anything more than that at this stage.”

Mrs Bhatia says West Linton is a small, conventional village, but its proximity to Edinburgh means it is often looked at for new housing.

“But all these new houses will have extra vehicles as well and that too causes concern.”

Scottish Borders Council confirmed this week that its planning department had received the new application from Springfield Properties.