Bid to build woodland house near Clovenfords rejected on appeal

The woodland site at Peelburnfoot, near Clovenfords.
The woodland site at Peelburnfoot, near Clovenfords.

Councillors have upheld a decision not to grant planning permission for a chalet-type house in woodland west of Galashiels.

The site, alongside the River Tweed near on Glenkinnon Lodge at Peelburnfoot, west of Caddonfoot, is currently home to the ruins of a former kennels and a small wood.

How the proposed house would have looked.

How the proposed house would have looked.

Residents of nearby Craigmyle Park and members of Clovenfords and District Community Council, however, objected to the original proposals for an A-frame style chalet to be erected in place of 14 trees in the heart of the wood.

Applicant Adam Elder, of North Berwick, East Lothian, was denied planning permission in September 2017 and while appealing against that knockback, provided a revised proposal requiring only four trees to face the axe.

However, that cut no ice with objectors still fearful for the future of the woodland if it were to host such a large development.

Commenting on the revised proposals at a meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s local review body on Monday, East Berwickshire councillor Helen Laing said: “It seems to be that it’s going to be more than three or four trees that come out ultimatel, but what I’m more worried about is the visual impact of the house in this area.

“I don’t think it has been a previous dwelling, and I think that the footprint of the house is much bigger.

“There is some indication in the report that the pictures that we’ve seen here today are not giving a true reflection of the impact of the house in that area.

“I think it’s a nicely designed house, but I think it will have a significant effect on the woodland in that area.”

Leaderdale and Melrose councillor Tom Miers, chairman of the review body, said: “As a committee, we look very sympathetically, and have done in the past, on imaginative, bold designs.

“There’s something about this that I have a lot of admiration for, in terms of its ambition, but it’s very difficult to see how it fits with existing council policy.”

Councillors unanimously upheld the authority’s previous decision to deny Mr Elder, represented by Galashiels architectural firm Camerons, planning permission for the development.