Planning complaint fails

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A COUPLE who objected to the handling of a number of planning applications by Scottish Borders Council have had their case against the local authority thrown out.

Among their complaints was that SBC had unreasonably accepted plans that were inaccurate for one of the flats in their building. But the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman Jim Martin refused to uphold the case.

He said: “Mr and Mrs C reside within a B listed building which had been divided into four flats.

“They complained that the council failed to properly handle a number of planning applications submitted in relation to one of the flats within the listed building.

“In particular, they complained that the applicant had submitted what they regarded as a less contentious application followed immediately by a variation; that the council had accepted a report on the water supply which had been prepared by the applicant’s agent and that the council unreasonably accepted plans which were inaccurate.”

But Mr Martin said his investigations found the council had considered the couple’s points, made in their letters of objection, and found there was no evidence of fault on the part of the local authority.

Mr Martin added: “They had also acted reasonably in accepting a report prepared by the applicant’s agent.

“It was normal practice for information to be submitted by a suitably qualified professional to provide independent advice, notwithstanding that he/she was appointed by the applicant. Any report would be scrutinised by the council during consideration of the application.

“We also found that the accuracy of the plans had been considered during consideration of the application.

“As we did not find evidence that the council had failed to follow the proper processes and procedures in their handling of the applications, we did not uphold the complaints.”