Councillors are set to make a decision next week on allowing a dog day-care centre and workshop units to be built on the outskirts of Galashiels following a site visit.
Wilson Jamieson, of Barr Road, Galashiels, applied to Scottish Borders Council for permission to build seven workshop units and a two-storey dog day centre at a depot in Langshaw Road, but the plans were rejected by council planning officers.
The Farknowes depot is owned by Mr Jamieson’s company, Wilson G Jamieson Forestry and Fencing, and his daughter Leonie Jamieson runs Galashiels Dog Walking Service.
The plans would have seen Ms Jamieson set up a permanent headquarters for business, including office space and an exercise paddock for dogs, but council planners say the Jamiesons have not shown there is sufficient economic need for a development in the countryside and that the aesthetics of the proposals would not be in keeping with a rural setting.
Following an appeal, the case has been referred up to Scottish Borders Council’s local review body for reconsideration.
At a meeting of the local review body on Monday, February 18, councillors were sympathetic to the proposals and were in broad agreement that the site is not in a rural setting but decided a site visit was needed to better inform their verdict.
Members of the committee meet again on Monday, March 18, to deliberate further and come to a decision.
Galashiels councillor Sandy Aitchison told the February meeting: “This is just across the road from the controversial recycling centre at Easter Langlee – it’s not that rural – and I’m struggling to think whereabouts a dog exercise area could be built in Gala. There’s a considerable piece of land here. I can’t see any reason for two storeys but I think that can be changed.
“I’m going to suggest that we have a site visit so you can see for yourselves.”
Fellow Galashiels councillor Andy Anderson also highlighted that there are few places in Gala for a business like this, saying: “I’m a bit conflicted because the character of this area has changed quite a bit over the last few years.
“If we’re considering this as a rural area, then maybe we need to go and have a look at the site.
“There are limited spaces in Gala to put something like this. I don’t believe it’s so far out of town as to be unreasonable. It’s not a particularly controversial location.”
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