PLANNING PLIGHT

Carol Andrew at the plot of land already owned by her where a planning application  to build a bungalow has been refused. The plot is immediately behind her existing property in Lilliesleaf.
Carol Andrew at the plot of land already owned by her where a planning application to build a bungalow has been refused. The plot is immediately behind her existing property in Lilliesleaf.

A LILLIESLEAF mum has called for common sense in her fight to build a home for her disabled daughter.

Carole Andrew’s dreams of constructing a bungalow for 23-year-old Rachel on a plot beside her own home have so far been ruled out by Scottish Borders Council, with the site lying just metres outside the village’s Local Plan boundary.

However, that has not stopped residents showing their support, with a petition signed by 58 people and 22 letters of support reaching SBC’s Newtown headquarters.

They are behind Carole’s plea that the boundary be extended to allow the development to go ahead.

She told The Wee Paper: “I have not heard any objections, everyone we have spoken to is behind us. The village has been brilliant and everyone thinks the situation is ridiculous.

“It has been very emotional speaking to people and hearing their support. All we want is a bit of common sense.”

Carole submitted the bungalow plans in January for Borders College student Rachel, who has epilepsy and additional needs, after her daughter suffered a fit and fell down a flight of stairs in their current home.

But SBC’s planning officer Andrew Evans told Carole that developments outwith a Local Plan can only be support when it can be proved it would either generated jobs, create affordable housing, if there is a shortfall of 
available housing land or if the application provides significant community benefits. 
Mr Evans wrote: “This is a sensitive proposal and the applicant’s circumstances are appreciated and fully sympathised with. However, on balance and taking into consideration all material considerations, the proposal cannot be supported as it does not comply with policy eight of the Local Plan and would set a precedent for other developments outwith the development boundary, including instances where property owners have not as yet found alternative housing needs on the open market.”

But supporter Janet Fullarton wrote: “If planning were not granted it would be unjust for such a deserving family.

“Building a purpose built home for Rachel on the plot applied for would secure the life and future this much loved lady deserves.”