A social housing boss has hit out at Scottish Borders Council planners after seeing two sets of plans for affordable homes in Peebles and Galashiels rejected.
Eildon Housing Association had applications for new homes in Galashiels and Peebles thrown out at the same council meeting this week, sending it back to the drawing board.
That double snub has prompted Nile Istephan, the Selkirk-based association’s chief executive, to call the decisions into question.
Mr Istephan also said the association would now be considering lodging appeals against those rejections.
“The rejection by councillors of two proposals for a total of 109 new homes is a significant setback to tackling the chronic lack of affordable housing in the Borders,” he said.
“Councillors should be in no doubt that their decision denies scores of individuals and families high-quality, affordable homes in the town in which they wish to live and work.
“We worked closely with council planning officials to ensure our applications complied in full with their requirements.
“Both applications were recommended for approval.
“As a charity and not-for-profit organisation, we have invested significant sums in ensuring the designs and site landscaping are of high quality.
“All our work is in line with Scottish Borders Council’s strategic housing investment plan and Scottish Government targets on housing provision.
“We will now consider whether to appeal against both decisions.
“The cost of failing to tackle housing need in the Borders impacts on the quality of life for everyone, from families with young children to pensioners with growing care needs and employers seeking local workers for vital services.”
The two applications rejected at Monday’s meeting of the council’s planning and building standards committee were for blocks of flats at Tweedbridge Court in Peebles and 11 extra homes to be added to 58 already approved at Coopersknowe Crescent in Galashiels.
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