Carole Andrew’s seven-month battle to build a bungalow for her disabled daughter within their home village is finally over.
Monday’s meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s local review body voted in favour of the Lilliesleaf application, which had strong support from villagers, after its planning department threw out the bid in March.
A relieved Mrs Andrew told The Southern: “I am delighted that common sense has prevailed.
“The whole community has been behind us and I cannot thank them enough.
“This decision really was affecting our future – if we had failed we would have had to move out of the village.”
Mrs Andrew initially applied to build the bungalow on ground she owned beside her Easter Lilliesleaf House in January for 24-year-old daughter Rachel, who has eplipsy and additional needs.
The former teacher feared her daughter’s seizures could result in a serious injury in the house mother and daughter currently share.
However, Andrew Evans, a planning official at the local authority’s Newtown St Boswells HQ, argued that the plot lies just metres outside the village’s Local Plan boundary, and rejected it.
He said the application did not meet any of the four criteria which are needed for a planning bid outwith the Local Plan to be accepted.
Writing to SBC as part of her appeal, Mrs Andrew, who has 134 letters in support of her bid, said: “Rachel had a seizure at the top of the stairs which was incredibly frightening.
“She was considerably fortunate to land against the wall on the first flight of stairs, breaking her fall.
“The result of this was bruising and a very upset young lady and mother. Since my application this has happened a second time, near the bottom of the stairs, but luckily I was with Rachel and was able to prevent her from sustaining any serious injury.
“This made me realise that I cannot wait until Rachel injures herself seriously; I know she needs to live on one level for her continued safety and wellbeing.”
Although approving the application, the local review body added a condition that means only Rachel can live in the property.