Coopersknowe set for next phase

Eildon Housing Association has applied for planning permission to build 60 houses and flats at the Coopersknowe site at Easter Langlee, Galashiels.

The proposed affordable housing, to form phases four and five of the Coopersknowe site, are to be a mix of bungalows, semi-detached houses, short terraces with flats and associated landscaping.

Affected neighbours will be receiving consultation letters by Monday, August 15, but it is not yet known when the application will be put in front of Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee.

However, a series of consultation events has taken place, attended by residents of the earlier Coopersknowe houses and other neighbours.

During those consultations, subjects such as parking, a fence between the two sites and placement of a play area were discussed.

A council spokesperson said: “It is yet to be finalised which meeting of the planning and building standards committee will consider the Coopersknowe application, but it is likely to be in the coming months.”

The existing houses at Coopersknowe have not been without problems, with residents complaining of bad aromas emanating from the Easter Langlee landfill site a few yards further along the Lauder road, especially on hot days, although this has been partly tackled by use of deodorant sprays.

The land on which the new houses are proposed to be built is former farmland, and developers are looking closely at the possibility of a historic sheep dip being found on the site as it could have contaminated the land around it.

The council spokesman said: “The council’s contaminated land officer will review the application, and any matters relating to historic activities at the site will be considered in detail in due course.”

Included in the plan is a centrally-located play area and open space, while the neighbouring industrial estate will be shielded by retention of beech trees as much as possible, while a large tree will be kept at the entrance to the site.

Although Scottish Water said it had capacity at the time of application, it has warned the developer that it is “unable to reserve capacity, and connections to the waste and waste water networks can only be granted on a first-come- first-served basis”, adding: “For this reason, we may have to review our ability to serve the development on receipt of an application to connect.”

The Southern contacted Scottish Water to ask whether capacity at the waste water treatment facility at Netherdale was a problem.

A spokesman replied: “Galashiels waste water treatment works has capacity to meet the needs of all known planned developments within the area it serves.

“Once these developments have been completed, we expect there would still be additional capacity at the facility.”