Fake objection letters found

It has emerged that a number of objections lodged against plans to build a skatepark close to Jedburgh’s riverside have been falsified.

After receiving correspondence from the council about their ‘objection’, eight people responded that they had not submitted any representation on the plan.

Katherine Campbell from Australia replied: “We have no knowledge of this letter or the planning application for a skatepark near Abbey Place.

“We have been to Jedburgh as tourists from Australia on several occasions and enjoyed our experiences greatly. However our most recent visit was in May 2012.

“It would appear that some of the public submissions you have received may be somewhat dubious.”

An SBC spokesman told The Southern: “When the department acknowledged the objections it received to this case, it was contacted by individuals who advised that they had not in fact sent in objections.”

He added: “Any submission of fraudulent representation in a planning application is a serious and potentially fraudulent act which could result in criminal proceedings.”

The plans had attracted 86 objections, although all but 10 were pro-forma letters. These included some with addresses from as far afield as New Zealand and Denmark.

A total of 69 supporting comments had been received, the majority submitted by individuals through the council’s online planning portal.

However, the plan has had to be withdrawn due to the location plan submitted being incorrect.

The applicants, the Jed Skatepark Group, hope a new application for ‘The Dip’ site will be submitted by the end of the month, which will prompt a fresh public consultation.