Councillors today agreed a site visit to Gattonside amid concern over a proposed new home located near a 'hen party house'
A planning proposal has been submitted to Scottish Borders Council for demolition of an existing stable to build a house on land south west of Weathercote Rig at The Loan in Gattonside.
The applicant Barbara Johnson plans for her sister, who suffers from severe ill health, to live at the proposed property.
Weathercote Rig – also known as Tweed Rig – has been occupied as a holiday home/Air B&B and hired out to parties of 16 people, which opponents claim has caused “noise and disruption to local residents”.
Aside from concerns over road access and loss of privacy, the objectors fear the proposed property could become another holiday ‘party house’ and “not used for permanent/long term use”.
Members of the council’s building and standards committee met via videolink today, Tuesday, December 6, to consider the application.
Charles Humphries, for the objectors, whose home is immediately beside the application site, said the property would be both too dominant because its footprint is more than twice that of the stables it would replace and detract from the appearance and character of the area.
He said: “Whatever the stated intention of the applicant I believe the proposed house is very likely to become an extension to the Weathercote Rig holiday house, which in the recent past has advertised itself on hen party websites as already sleeping 12 to 16 persons.
"It is presently the stated intention of the proprietor, who is the applicant’s sister, that it will not return to such use but clearly this cannot be enforced and I therefore fear considerable escalation in my loss of my privacy and enjoyment of my home garden.”
Gavin Yuille, of Galashiels-based Cameron Strachan Yuille Architects, agents on behalf of applicant, said: “The dwelling that is proposed is for their sister, who is in severe ill health and has deteriorated such that the application has been made.
"The proposal was to create an accessible dwelling that is complementary in scale to the rest of the site.”
Committee members agreed to defer a decision on the issue until they had carried out a site visit to the area.