Plans for homes next to Stow farm downsized after sparking opposition

Plans to build 16 homes on farmland at Stow have been downsized after sparking widespread opposition.

Friday, 11th September 2020, 11:56 am
Updated Friday, 11th September 2020, 3:04 pm
Land next to Stagehall Farmhouse at Stow being eyed up to host 16 houses.

Building firm Hudson Homes (Berwick) submitted an application in February to Scottish Borders Council planners for consent for a housing development east of Stagehall Farm, but it’s now had a rethink in response to the objections it triggered.

That bid was withdrawn today, September 11, but the Edinburgh-based company immediately submitted revised plans for 13 homes on the same site, including a noise impact assessment with its new application.

It now remains to be seen if that reduction in the scale of the development will appease villagers opposed to the previous 16-home development.

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How houses proposed for land next to Stagehall Farm at Stow would have looked.

All the objections from villagers came from among the 26 householders living in nearby Wedale View.

They claim the planned estate would be detrimental to the environment, would offer inadequate access and parking provision, would increase traffic to unacceptable levels and would represent over development of the site.

Concerns were also raised by Stow Community Council, with a spokesperson describing the village’s sewerage system as “completely inadequate” and unable to cope with 16 additional homes.

Network Rail also insisted that a series of requirements would need to be met before any development could go ahead, including erecting a 1.8-metre-high trespass-proof fence alongside the nearby Borders Railway line.

Martin and Daisy Ford-Downes, of Wedale View, expressed concerns that the design of the proposed homes would not fit in with existing properties in the village.

In their objection statement, they say: “The development of 16 properties is greater than the original plan for 12. This is overdevelopment, inappropriate density for the area and contrary to the existing plan, and the design is out of character with the existing street.

“It appears designed to create a separate and enclosed community at the end of Wedale View.”

Fellow resident John Clark said: “The village, quite rightly, is encouraging an increase in the number of visitors, namely cyclists and walkers, and is making changes to the old station building to support this.

“Buses on route X95 are now able to take bikes and there is an expectation that all trains will stop at Stow, so, in addition to the current regular traffic, there is likely to be an increase in the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists in this area of the village.

“This would be in addition to the increase in traffic associated with the construction of 16 family homes.”