The principle of 220 new homes in Kelso has been accepted by councillors, despite concerns about the capacity of the town’s sewage works.
At Tuesday’s planning committee meeting members approved planning permission in principle for a development at Angraflat Road for around 100 homes and a new secondary school and for about 120 houses off the Ednam road at Cotterlee.
Ian Aikman, major development manager, said that in the existing local development plan both sites are outwith the ‘settlement boundary’ and designated for future use, with other sites to be used first.
However, he added that in the draft local development plan, currently awaiting adoption, the sites are identified as suitable for immediate development, and as such officers could support the applications.
Kelso councillor Simon Mountford said: “This goes some way to meeting future housing requirements for Kelso, but I do have concerns about the capacity of the sewage works.
“Scottish Water are cagey in their comments, saying it may be able to accommodate the increase in usage, but I’m not sure that is what I want to hear.
“We have got a situation in Kelso where sewage is trucked away from the town as the sewage works cannot cope with the volume that currently exists and residents in the area of the sewage works are already complaining about unpleasant smells.
“I do have very serious concerns about the capacity and about how this is going to affect future developments. Ideally I would like a commitment from Scottish Water to upgrade the waste treatment facilities.”
Mr Aikman said it would likely fall to the developers to contribute towards an upgrade should capacity be an issue.
Martin Wanless, forward planning manager, added that Scottish Water had been involved in discussions about the draft development plan and raised no issues with the allocation of the land for immediate development and had not objected to the applications in question.
The developers of both sites will need to provide masterplans to show the potential future development of adjacent sites and how this will be considered in the final design for the application sites.
They will also have to provide detailed transport assessments to help lead the design of junctions and inter-connectivity with the town for pedestrians, cyclists and for public transport.
Detailed final plans will need to go before the committee for both sites.
David Wilson Homes is set to develop the site near Hendersyde North Lodge, while the applicants for Nethershot, at Angraflat Road, are Lord Ralph Kerr, The Ferniehirst Trust and Roxburghe Estates.