End of the road for a Berwickshire caravan park bid that raised the hackles of locals

Controversial plans for a 52 lodge holiday park in Berwickshire have been rejected for a third time.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 10:25 am
Land at Willowdene House near Foulden.

James Tait, owner of Orchard Country Park at Lucker in Northumberland, wanted to build the caravan park in the grounds of Willowdean House, near Foulden.

It was a prospect that angered dozens of Foulden residents and others who objected to the visual impact it would have on the small village.

The plans were first rejected by Scottish Borders Council in September 2019, due to concerns over the quality of the lodge designs, the visual impact and the additional pressure on local roads.

Land at Willowdean House, near Foulden.

Plans were subsequently re-submitted with more details on the design of the lodges, with the project described as a “high quality and attractive holiday retreat”.

Objectors continued to hold firm in their belief that the development would “overwhelm the village”, however.

Despite the objections from residents, in August last year officers from the council’s planning department recommended councillors approve the application.

But members of the planning and building standards committee voted three to four to again reject the bid.

Mr Tait subsequently appealed that decision.

Now the Reporter, Stephen Hall, has dismissed the appeal after visiting the site and reading written representatives.

A summary of his decision, which will be presented to members of the council’s planning committee next week, says: “The Reporter concluded that while the general support the proposal received from the provisions of the tourism strategy, he considered the conflicts with tourism facilities and accommodation policy are more powerful in this case, and therefore the policy does not comply with the overall development plan.

"The screening report stated that the proposed development may lead to temporary and long term impact through sediment run-off, pollution, sewerage, and increase in flow and in the absence of mitigation there could be a likely significant effect on the River Tweed Special Area of Conservation.

"The Reporter considered all the other matters raised, but there are none that would lead him to alter his conclusion to dismiss the appeal.”