Opposition mounting to plans for new homes in Denholm

Denholm Community Council chairwoman Gwen Crew and secretary Will Roberts at the controversial site near Craigard.
Denholm Community Council chairwoman Gwen Crew and secretary Will Roberts at the controversial site near Craigard.

Opposition is growing in Denholm to plans to build new homes on a former market garden site.

An application has been submitted by Edinburgh-based SSPM Calton Homes for the construction of five two-storey properties on now-vacant land south east of Craigard at Canongate.

Among many objections to the three-bedroom houses proposed is one from Denholm and District Community Council after discussing the application at its meeting last week.

Members were unanimous in opposition to the plans, expressing what was described as “universal scepticism”.

Concerns centre on the overdevelopment of a very small site, its location within the Denholm conservation area and the designs proposed not being in keeping with the surrounding homes.

Further worries address “inaccessible” parking spaces, access issues to existing properties, lack of space for collection of waste bins, visual impact and a “very serious impact on road and pedestrian safety”.

A report to Scottish Borders Council’s planning department also outlines a series of objections from individuals living in the area.

Craig Murphy, of Craiglea in Canongate, says: “The proposed two-storey houses are being built on an already-elevated site which will encroach on my property.

“The site is far too small for the amount of houses and, as pointed out at the site meeting this week, the proposed parking arrangements would be very inadequate and, in my view, will cause an overspill of car parking on an already-busy Canongate.”

The main concern for neighbours Pat and Bill Hogan is traffic flow.

They say: “At the Canongate at present, due to a lack of off-street parking, cars are parked in an almost continuous line on one side of the street.

“Five houses, whose only access is to and from Canongate, will create an increase in private cars, and attendant commercial activity.”

Will Roberts, secretary of Denholm Community Council, said council members were not against a suitable housing development in the area.

He said: “New houses built in moderation can benefit the village and the community, but five houses in that space represents too dense a development.

“The access track also looks like a single lane which would not allow one vehicle to come out as another was coming in, which is complete nonsense, particularly as it leads to a very congested road at the Canongate.”

The consensus among community council members is that a scaled-down development on the site could be acceptable, however, were revised plans to be drawn up at a later date.

No one from SSPM Calton Homes was available for comment.