A MELROSE-BASED developer has won its battle to build seven new homes in Gattonside.

Rural Renaissance, which is the contracting arm of developer JS Crawfords, is planning on demolishing a small cottage along the B6360 and building four one-storey and three two-storey homes on the site, which backs onto Montgomerie Terrace.

A supporting statement, submitted on behalf of the developer by London-based planning consultancy Rapleys, reads: “The site rises up from the B6360 to the north and is located within an existing established residential area. It is bounded to the west by Montgomerie Terrace. 

“The proposed new development will be accessed via a new access created off Montgomerie Terrace, with the two new houses towards the front of the site, which replace the existing “doran” pre-fab and former canoe shed, accessed off the B6360.

“These proposed homes reflect high standards of design to ensure successful integration with the character of the local area, without damaging the design characteristics of the conservation area. 

“The materials, scale and height of the surrounding area have all been assessed to ensure the proposed development is in keeping with the existing housing.”

The plans attracted five objections relating to the height of the buildings in relation to nearby properties, and raised issues surrounding privacy and sunlight. 

However, at a meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s planning and building standards committee on Monday August 5, planning officers urged councillors to approve the plans. 

In a written submission to the committee, planning officer Julie Hayward writes: “The main issue with the development is the potential impact of the dwellinghouses proposed on plots five and seven on the light, privacy and outlook of Orchard House to the east due to the position of the proposed houses and differing ground levels. 

“The agent has submitted a drawing to show the relationship between the three houses and section drawings showing ground levels. 

“In terms of the impact of the proposed house on plot seven, the proposed house would have two bedroom windows in the east elevation at ground floor level and would be on slightly lower ground. Applying the guidelines in the approved supplementary planning guidance, there would be no significant loss of light or privacy to Orchard House from this property. 

“In terms of the impact of the house on plot five on Orchard house, the garage would be positioned on the eastern side of the proposed house and the decking is shown on the western side beyond the rear wing. 

“There would be a window and door to the garage and a window to a WC in the rear elevation, which are not considered to be habitable rooms. There would be a large glazed area in the rear wing serving the living room. 

“The house is on significantly higher ground than Orchard House. 

“Again, when applying the approved guidance there would be no direct overlooking and no loss of privacy to the habitable rooms of Orchard House.”

Kelso councillor Simon Mountford said he did not object to the proposals, but wanted to see a design change: “What we have here those very boring roof shapes, although I appreciate modern roofs do not have chimneys or anything to break them up a little bit. 

“I’m wondering if we could ask the developer to break up the roof lines with some new designs.”

Tweeddale West councillor Eric Small told the committee: “I’m quite happy with the way it’s sited in this location, so I’m going to go with the officers on this one. I think the design is perfect for where it.”

The majority of councillors agreed with councillor Mountford, and the application was approved with the condition that the developers must work with planning officers to redesign the roofs.