Chirnside housing plan is approved

Scottish Borders Council has approved plans to build 57 affordable homes in Chirnside.

Wednesday, 3rd October 2018, 8:08 am

Springfield Properties, which is based in Elgin, Moray, plans to build a new affordable housing estate behind Northfield Terrace, with an access point on Main Street East End.

The scheme will be taken over by a local affordable housing provider which will wholly own and operate it.

However, the proposals have been met with several objections from Chirnside residents, who raised concerns around road access, parking, housing density and the impact on local house prices.

Margaret Thomson Malone, a neighbour of the proposed site, wrote: “There will be numerous traffic jams, there already are several times a day when two heavy lorries meet on a road packed with parked cars.

“Where do you think all the people who would live in these houses are going to park when it snows or is covered in ice as it is every winter at some point?

“Several people have now decided to sell their houses. Borlorac, two on the south side of the street opposite or adjacent to the access, and now we are considering our position, having invested thousands in renovation this development will have an adverse effect on the value of our home. Who is going to compensate us for that?”

David Jeffrey, also a close neighbour of the proposed site, wrote: “This will be an extremely dangerous access point as the street is already a disgrace to get along at all times of the day due the amount of already parked vehicles on both sides.

“Also more dangerous at tea times due to the low sun. A very poor thought out idea.”

At a meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s planning and building standards committee on Monday, councillors voted to approve the development despite these objections.

Speaking in favour of approval, East Berwickshire councillor Helen Laing said: “I’m broadly in favour of this development, especially with it being affordable housing, which we really need in the area.

“The only concern I have here is the main road, which I drove through today actually, which does get really clogged up because of parking and traffic.

“An extra 57 houses nearby is going to be an extra 100 car or so.”

Jedburgh and Disgrict councillor Scott Hamilton also voiced his support, saying: “I think the key word we have is pressure. Pressure on the roads and pressure on the sewage system, as obviously it’s a smaller village and a rural location, but I think officers have addressed this issue.

“I think with approval of this development we need to realise it may open the door for further development of the site down the road, so I have a concern there, but I’m broadly in favour overall.”

Joseph Anderson , Local Democracy Reporting Service