Planning bid for seven new village homes withdrawn amid concerns

A bid to build seven new homes in a Berwickshire village have been withdrawn after it raised the hackles of some locals.
How Chirnside development would look.How Chirnside development would look.
How Chirnside development would look.

A statement was submitted to Scottish Borders Council by Aitken Turnbull Architects on behalf of Tyneside-based Mountfair Homes in support of a full planning application to build three new homes and for the conversion of an existing steading into four dwellings with associated works at Maines Farm in Chirnside.

The site forms part of an established building group comprising of 14 existing homes in addition to the Chirnside Hall Hotel.

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Objections were raised to the proposed development not being in keeping with the village.

East Berwickshire councillor James Anderson was one of those who objected to the scheme.

He said: “Overall, the plans look like a modern development being wedged into a small space for maximum profit.

“Little consideration has been given to the history of the area or surrounding buildings that are significantly older with a style that fits with the local area.

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“This area should be developed in keeping with the area and the surrounding buildings. The plans show no attempt to fit in with the surrounding buildings or area in general.”

Another objector said: “Chirnside as a village has recently increased by 57 new homes to the north of the village. This to a village with diminishing infrastructure, such as the recent closure of the doctors’ surgery. The primary school has limited space and the impact of the 57 additional houses inChirnside has yet to be experienced.

“Socio-economically, Chirnside is remote with a defined number of jobs available. To increase the population increases competition for these jobs and subsequently will increase unemployment and poverty in this community. It would be wrong to turn Chirnside into a dormitory village for peoplecommuting to work in larger towns.

“Culturally, in a village with a current population of c1500 people, developing housing that will be filled by people relocated from elsewhere will harm the community’s cohesion.

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“I think this proposed development is at the wrong time, in the wrong place.”

A statement submitted in support of the application said: “The proposals for both the conversion of existing buildings at the site and erection of new build houses are consistent with planning policy and provide a positive contribution to the aesthetic and amenity of the building group . Enhanced pedestrian connection will be facilitated by the development at Chirnside.

“The proposed development will sit comfortably within this group as development on a brownfield site and would utilise and retain the former grand gable to the steading as part of the development.

“The site and the existing steading is raised above the level of the field to the south and has dramatic views over the countryside all the way to The Cheviot.

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“The site sits back behind Maines Farmhouse, the most dominant feature visible, while to the east it has the added benefit of extensive and mature woodlands helping it blend into the landscape and reduce its visual impact.”

The application was formally withdrawn on April 9.