Councillors give approval to a new house in Gattonside despite a number of concerns

The green light has been given to a new home close to a ‘party house’ in Gattonside.

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 8:59 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 8:59 am
Weathercote Rig.
Weathercote Rig.

A planning proposal was submitted to Scottish Borders Council for demolition of an existing stable to build a house on land south west of Weathercote Rig at The Loan in Gattonside.

The applicant Barbara Johnson has plans for her sister, who suffers from severe ill health, to live at the proposed property.

Weathercote Rig – also known as Tweed Rig – has been occupied as a holiday home/Air B&B and hired out to parties of 16 people, which opponents claim has caused “noise and disruption to local residents”.

Members of Scottish Borders Council’s planning and building standards committee approved the housing bid yesterday, Monday, January 10 – but with reservations.

Aside from concerns over road access and loss of privacy, objectors fear the proposed property could become another holiday ‘party house’ and “not used for permanent/long term use”.

Opponents claim the property would also be too dominant because its footprint is more than twice that of the stables it would replace and detract from the appearance and character of the area.

At yesterday’s meeting concerns were also raised over maintaining trees close to the proposed development, the need to upgrade road access and opposition expressed to the road being tarmacked because of the steepness of the site.

But council planners recommended approval of the application bid with a number of conditions.

Councillor Clair Ramage said: “My only concern is about the trees that border the site, that I believe are hardwood trees. If this goes ahead I would be mindful of the tree roots and the impact it will have on these mature trees along the site.”

Councillor Scott Hamilton said: “In terms of planning, is it an appropriate site for a building? Yes, I do believe it is. The problem we all have here is the trees and their roots. One of the conditions does say the trees are visually important and should be maintained. I am happy to support this but not quite so enthusiastically as I normally am.”

Councillor Eric Small added: “I’m not particularly keen on this site. It’s not a great site, particularly with the access route. I think a house is manageable on the site, but it has got its problems.”