Homes close to poultry manure storage building fall foul of planning committee

Local Review Body backs rejection of housing bid.

A bid to build two homes adjacent to a poultry manure store near a Berwickshire village has fallen foul of a council planning review committee.

An application was submitted to Scottish Borders Council by Mr and Mrs O McLaren for bungalows on land north east of Edington Mill near Chirnside.

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It was refused on the grounds that the proposed homes would not form part of an existing housing group.

An appeal against the refusal was considered by members of the council’s Local Review Body, which has now upheld assistant planning officer Paul Duncan’s original decision.

Members also expressed environmental concerns that the proposed property would be in close proximity to unpleasant smells, flies and rats generated by the poultry operation.

Mid-Berwickshire’s councillor Donald Moffat added: “I would say it is a conflict with the existing use. Having lived and worked on a poultry farm I don’t see how this could actually work. “You’re going to have houses next to an existing poultry muck heap. The effects of a muck heap, is, as the environmental health officer says, a problem with flies and invariably, in fact almost always, with rats and I couldn’t think of a worse place to put houses next to this existing use. “It’s not the working farm that’s going to be the problem, it’s the houses we put next to the working farm. If this was a poultry farm being extended next to houses we would refuse it. This is the other way round. I don’t think it is good at all.” The applicants bought the vacant site in November 2021 with the intention of erecting an industrial shed to house their growing cleaning business. But due to the expansion of a housing settlement at Edington Mill, with the granting of permission for four new detached dwellings on sites to the south and south west, they reconsidered the location as more suitable for housing. In his report refusing the application, Mr Duncan had argued that the proposed homes would not be part of an “established group” as they were a “considerable distance to the north”. He added: “Due to the distance of separation and intervening woodland, the site is not well related to that group.” Richard Amos, on behalf of the applicants, counter-argued, saying: “The proposed dwellings would be a logical extension of the existing building group and would assimilate well with that group and the surrounding landscape. “The contemporary approach to form and design will be a positive introduction into what is currently an untidy gap site of rough grass land.”