40 flats being lined up for former court site in Peebles

Tweedbridge Court in Peebles.
Tweedbridge Court in Peebles.

Plans to build a major new housing complex on a central site in Peebles would create an eyesore, residents fear.

Selkirk-based Eildon Housing Association has submitted a planning application to Scottish Borders Council for an affordable housing development consisting of two blocks of 40 flats altogether in Tweedbridge Court on the site of former court buildings.

It’s a plan that has not gone down well with some locals, however.

Several objections to the four-storey buildings have been submitted to the council’s planning department, most of them centred on the development being too large and overbearing.

Concerns have also been expressed that, if agreed, the buildings would spoil one of the best views in the town.

Philip Ackerman, of Dukehaugh, Peebles, said he accepts there is a need for affordable homes in the town but believes the housing association has chosen the wrong location.

He added: “As a local resident, I have looked forward to the development of this key but sensitive site on the banks of the River Tweed, clearly visible from the historic and famous Tweed Bridge, forming a view looking north east along the River Tweed towards Neidpath Castle. This forms one of Peebles’ most famous views.

“I strongly support the need for the provision of affordable housing in Peebles, and this site provides a fantastic opportunity to enhance Peebles.

“However, I feel strongly that this particular application is sadly disappointing, with poor design unsympathetic to the surrounding area. It is a great missed opportunity.”

Mr Ackerman says the design of the flats is “completely at odds and out of keeping with the area” and the buildings are too high and would “overpower and dominate the skyline”.

Serious concerns over its impact on the locality have also been expressed by Michael Pearson, of Kingsmeadow Road, Peebles.

He said: “This is a particularly important site widely seen by visitors, surrounded by one of the most attractive and photographed parts of the town.

“A four-storey development of massive proportions is an overdevelopment on this site and will visually overwhelm its surroundings.”