Home upgrades red tape cut

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HOUSHOLDEERS will be able to carry out more works on their homes without planning permission, thanks to new regulations from the Scottish Government.

At a meeting of Scottish Borders Council (SBC), Gavin Logan (Tweeddale East, Con) received a reply to his question asking whether a planning policy and special planning guidance (SPG) – both concerned with householder developments – should be reviewed as a result of what he termed the unacceptable impact on properties in Meigle Row, Clovenfords by the new Barratt Homes development at the village’s Vinery Park.

Councillor Carolyn Riddell-Carre (Selkirkshire, Con), executive member for planning, said that guidance on householder developments and policy H2 of the local plan, were approved by members in 2008 and 2011, respectively.

She told Mr Logan: “They take cognisance of relevant and widely accepted standards which seek to strike a balance between the need to accommodate new building and the need to maintain an acceptable level of privacy and amenity for existing residents.

“The separation between new and existing properties on this site meets the approved standards. It should be noted that the case officer specifically required the planting of semi-mature trees at strategic positions to reduce the impact of the new development on existing properties. Those trees have yet to be planted.”

Mrs Riddell-Carre also said the Scottish Government had just introduced regulations which significantly increased the ability of householders to carry out works without planning permission.

She said: “Officers are considering the extent to which the SPG may require to be amended to reflect the new regulations but any amendments will require to reflect the new, more relaxed attitude to householder developments, and will not be able to impose more stringent restrictions.”