SBC must cough up – despite appeal win

SCOTTISH Borders Council has been ordered to pay expenses towards a planning appeal to Scottish Government ministers – despite the reporter agreeing with the local authority.

Donald Harris dismissed the appeal by David Roy who wanted to built a guest house near Broughton. But he ordered SBC to financially contribute to the cost of the case after deciding one of its reasons for refusing the application in August 2011 was too vague.

SBC said the guest house’s economic case “... has not been made sufficiently to justify an exception”, which Mr Roy felt was not specific enough and not a satisfactory reason for refusal.

Mr Harris wrote: “The council denies that this suggests that the business case is deficient; rather, the resulting scale of economic development is simply not sufficient (big enough) to justify the intrusion on this highly- protected site. I consider the appellant’s interpretation to be reasonable.”

However, Mr Harris still dismissed Mr Roy’s appeal, predominantly on landscaping issues.

He added: “If built as a traditional one-and-a-half storey building, or even as a single-storey bungalow, the proposed guest house would be seen from the A701 when travelling south. There is no part of the appeal site where it could be sited without being seen.”

Mr Harris said scenery concerns outweighed the “significant contribution to tourism and the local economy” that the guesthouse would bring to the Upper Tweeddale area.