Plans for 13 houses off A7 at Selkirk being recommended for approval

It could be game, set and match next week for a developer planning a housing development next to Selkirk’s tennis courts.

By Paul Kelly
Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 6:02 pm
Selkirk's tennis courts off Hillside Terrace.
Selkirk's tennis courts off Hillside Terrace.

Scottish Borders Council’s planning and building standards committee meets on Monday and it’s being recommended to grant approval for 13 detached properties on a one-hectare site in Hillside Terrace known locally as Kerr’s Land.

The bid has been put in by Melrose-based developer Rural Renaissance. It also wants to create a new entrance to the site from the A7.

The recommendation for approval comes despite concerns being raised regarding access to the site being from a busy trunk road and potentially creating an additional hazard.

Among those expressing concerns were the A7 Action Group and Selkirkshire councillor Elaine Thornton-Nicol.

The latter said: “The speed of vehicles both north and southbound on the A7 at Hillside Terrace prevents turning in and out of driveways, and there is concern that adding approximately 20 more vehicles will simply exacerbate this.

“There is a concern that the development will require traffic control for access and egress from the site. This is a major trunk road and that would have a serious impact on traffic movement.

“The narrowness of the carriageway at this point means there may be the need for vehicles entering and exiting the site to cross onto the other side of the carriageway, causing further risk.

“There is a concern that the sight lines are not good enough for safe egress from site.”

Marjorie McCreadie, secretary of the A7 Action Group, said: “Although the site is allocated for residential development in the current local development plan, creating a new access onto the trunk road at this time is controversial.

“The group considers the development to be premature and potentially unsafe.”

In his report, council planner Carlos Clarke addresses those concerns, however, saying: “The layout is now considered generally acceptable and a significant improvement on the original design.”