Housing appeal dismissed

PLANS for 21 new houses near Jubilee Wood in Peebles, which highlighted the need for a second river crossing in the town, have been rejected, writes Andrew Keddie.

Cala Homes Ltd appealed to the Scottish Government after Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee unanimously rejected its proposals last December.

Councillors had backed their officials who felt the development south of the Tweed was out of kilter with the Local Plan, bringing the total number of housing units in the Jubilee Park area to 72 – 27 more than the agreed allocation.

It was the council’s position that the new houses would put unacceptable pressure on the local road network.

The site was visited twice in July by Scottish Government Reporter Jill Moody who announced her dismissal of the Cala appeal this week. She determined that the new houses had potential to harm individual trees and the long-term viability of the entire wood, and agreed that the traffic safety implications were unacceptable in terms of SBC’s agreed housing policy.

Although she did not cite the lack of a second river crossing as a reason for refusal, she noted the existing single bridge was a pinch point which acted as “a significant constrant on the future development of Peebles”.

Welcoming the decision, Councillor Gavin Logan (Tweeddale East) told us: “This will ensure the long term future of the iconic Jubilee Wood and this attractive part of Peebles.”