Couple appealing against rejection of plans for home near Lilliesleaf

Land adjacent to River Cottage at Linthill, near Lilliesleaf.
Land adjacent to River Cottage at Linthill, near Lilliesleaf.

The owners of a Borders planning firm are appealing to councillors to overturn a rejection of their proposals for a new home.

Tim and Toni-Jane Ferguson, owners of Galashiels-based Ferguson Planning, submitted plans in September for a large house and stand-alone stables on land to the north-east of River Cottage at Linthill, near Lilliesleaf, but they were given the thumbs-down by Scottish Borders Council planners.

Council officers said that the development is contrary to the local authority’s rules on new housing in the countryside and that the applicants had failed to demonstrate any agricultural need for a new dwelling to be sited there.

The Fergusons have appealed against that decision, and councillors sitting on the authority’s local review body are due to reconsider their proposals on Monday, January 21.

In a report to the committee, planning officer Stuart Herkes recommends that councillors refuse the appeal, saying: “Linthill is a group of buildings based at and around the walled garden and existing converted estate buildings.

“The proposed site has no direct or immediate relationship or connection to these structures.

“Contrary to the existing sense of a relatively compact group of structures being encountered sequentially at and around the perimeter of the walled garden and within the stables buildings, the development of the site would promote a ribbon character of development.

“The site has no existing, logical or natural eastern limit, such that the development of this land would be liable to promote a greater expansion eastwards into the remainder of the field.

“To take it to its logical conclusion, this spread would result in an eastern annexe that may be larger than the original building group.”

In response, the Fergusons, of Bowden, near Newtown, have submitted an appeal statement to the local review body, and it reads: “The planning authority has recognised the presence of the building group and its capacity to expansion by a further dwelling.

“The appeal site is well related to the building group in terms of distance from it relative to the existing distances between the group’s elements.

“There is no meaningful natural or man-made boundary between the appeal site and the building group.

“The council’s roads officer and landscape officer raised no objections.

“The landscape officer will require a detailed landscaping plan at reserved matters stage, and this is acceptable to the appellant.

“The proposal does not result in any loss of woodland and has no impact on tree root protection areas. It will have no significant impact on local habitats.

“The proposal complies with adopted policy and guidance and respects and reflects the character of the existing building group.

“There are no other suitable sites at Linthill.

“Given the acceptance that this building group has the capacity for a further dwelling together with the grounds of appeal outlined in this statement, the local review body is respectfully requested to allow the appeal.”

The Fergusons also highlight that the immediate neighbour of the proposed property, Gordon Malcolm, has no objections to their plans.