Losing the plot

I can’t imagine I am alone in thinking that Scottish Borders Council has lost touch with reality over the granting of permission for two plots – five houses each – in Upper Ettrick, where five adjacent plots that were given planning consent many years ago still remain undeveloped (Quality key for Ettrick homes, Wee Paper, December 16) .

 The council appears to have wasted a considerable number of man hours and many of our pounds in chasing the dream of affordable housing in a totally-unsuitable location. There will be no local jobs for the residents of these houses and no daily bus – so a round car journey to work of 32 miles to Selkirk and Hawick seems likely, if it can be afforded. There is no prospect of getting an adequate broadband or mobile phone signal in such a remote location in the foreseeable future, so working from home would be very difficult.

 If no workshops are to be made available then there can be no small businesses to sustain any new household. To ask a developer to build workshops will surely mean the cost will be passed on to the new houses, so they will no longer be affordable.

 So what was the point of the exercise? Was this really in the public interest? Shouldn’t somebody have stood up and told the planners to get a grip on reality in the first instance?

 In these times of constraint I would have thought our money could have been much better spent.

Gordon Harrison

(vice-chair, Ettrick and Yarrow Community Council)