Morebattle planning ‘vision’ agreed

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A NEW mini planning brief has been approved for two areas of Morebattle, writes Mark Entwistle.

Members of Scottish Borders Council planning committee, meeting on Monday, agreed a recommendation to approve the brief for housing sites at the village’s Renwick Gardens and West Renwick Gardens.

These have been identified in the council’s consolidated local plan (CLP) for housing and the brief is aimed at helping create a development ‘vision’, address potential constraints and encourage good quality new development.

A draft mini planning brief was approved back in April and was used as the basis for a 12-week public consultation process.

The two areas of Morebattle have a combined indicative housing allocation in the CLP of 29. Councillors heard that the site at Renwick Gardens is currently used as a playing field, with a small area under cultivation as allotments.

The site at West Renwick Gardens is currently used for arable crop production.

Planning officials believed that a failure to approve a mini planing brief for these two areas of land would have impacts in terms of resources in the development management section at the council, potentially resulting in delays in processing applications.

The planning committee members unanimously approved the planning brief recommendation.

Local councillor Simon Mountford (Kelso & District, Con), however, warned that any increase in traffic could be problematic for that area of Morebattle. He told the meeting: “We should be wary of increasing traffic volumes down what is in effect a rural cul-de-sac.”

On possible landscaping and planting, Councillor Vicky Davidson (Selkirkshire, LD), commented: “I’m not a fan of structural planting to hide it off – if successful, any developments have to feel part of the village.”