Appeal against rejection of plans for house in Darnick fails

The proposed housing plot off Smith's Road in Darnick.
The proposed housing plot off Smith's Road in Darnick.

Councillors have rejected plans to build a two-bedroom home on a plot of land at Darnick.

Builder and roofer Ian Maxwell, of Smith’s Road, lodged an appeal after his plans were rejected by council officers concerned about parking problems and overdevelopment.

The house was lined up for a small plot of land set back from the road behind his garden.

The initial application attracted several complaints from neighbours worried about loss of green space and the proximity of the development to their homes.

Neighbour Dawn MacIver said: “I can hardly bring myself to comprehend the resources and energy which have been wasted up to this point, but perhaps, just perhaps, in the inordinate amount of time that has lapsed since Mr Maxwell’s quest to win and personally benefit, we’ll all just forget that this actually a garden we are talking about, not, as has been alluded to, a building plot by any stretch of a very active imagination – in fact, a garden which used to house a particularly fetching pigeon coop and washing line and some organic brambles.

“This simple organic structure even then filled the space, and you would have been lucky to swing a very scrawny, skinny, possibly freakish feral cat in it, never mind build a house.

“Perhaps we should all start building houses in our teeny gardens and call it progress.”

Members of Scottish Borders Council’s local review body voted unanimously to uphold the initial rejection of the planning application.

Summarising his reasons for voting against the application, Galashiels councillor Andy Anderson said: “I’m inclined to agree with the officer’s original decision to reject this application. It appears to be rather large for the street, and it does appear to have been shoehorned in there.

“The parking issue is also mentioned in the reasons for rejection, and I’m inclined to agree with that too.”