Housing association appealing against rejection of plans for 11 extra homes at Galashiels

How the Coopersknowe Crescent development would look.
How the Coopersknowe Crescent development would look.

A decision on whether 69 new homes earmarked for Galashiels end up getting built rests with the Scottish Government now the social landlord planning them has appealed against a knockback by councillors.

Eildon Housing Association submitted a planning bid to build the homes on a site at Coopersknowe Crescent at Easter Langlee.

The application is for two extra storeys to be added to proposed blocks of flats already granted planning consentand two further building plots being developed.

However, that bid did not find favour with residents living near the proposed development, leading to 14 objections being lodged with Scottish Borders Council’s planning and building standards committee, most centred on fears over additional traffic on the C77 entrance road.

Those concerns were echoed by Galashiels councillors, and the application was thrown out at the committee’s February meeting despite it being recommended for approval by council officers.

Now the Selkirk-based housing association is calling on the Scottish Government’s planning and environmental appeals division to overturn that decision.

The association already has permission to build 58 flats for rent and houses at Coopersknowe Crescent but it wants to add a further 11 homes to help it cope with demand for affordable accommodation.

A spokesperson for the association said it has been swamped with applications for homes in the region, receiving an average of 116 bids for each of the 10 homesmaking up its new Craigpark development in Galashiels.

Chief executive Nile Istephan said: “We are appealing against the decision for the Coopersknowe development because officers had offered recommendations for approval. This is the next stage of the process.”

Mr Istephan hit out at the committee in February after seeing two sets of plans for affordable homes, at Tweedbridge Court in Peebles as well as Coopersknowe Crescent, rejected.

He said at the time: “The rejection by councillors of two proposals for a total of 109 new homes is a significant setback to tackling the chronic lack of affordable housing in the Borders.

“Councillors should be in no doubt that their decisions deny scores of individuals and families high-quality, affordable homes in the towns in which they wish to live and work.”