A CONTROVERSIAL site on the lower slopes of the Eildons won't be included in zoned land for housing.

Last week we revealed that fears were growing with campaigners in Melrose over attempts for Dingleton Mains to be included in the next Local Development Plan.

Permission has already been granted for 28 houses to be built on a neighbouring site at The Croft.

And campaign group Don't Build on the Eildons were seeking assurances from local councillors that they would oppose any future developments on the surrounding land.

Owners Buccleuch Property Group had submitted a bid for the 3.2 hectare remaining land at Dingleton Mains, with an indicative capacity of 50 houses, to be included in the next Local Development Plan.

But the site is not being taken forward by Scottish Borders Council.

A spokesman said: "The site was the subject of an objection at the 2006 Local Plan Inquiry, and was considered as part of the Local Plan Amendment process.

"The site is identified as constrained within the Landscape Capacity Study.

"The Reporter's assessment at the inquiry was that the site should not be developed because it would have an adverse impact on the National Scenic Area.

"This site is unacceptable because it would have an adverse impact on the landscape."

Scottish Borders Council is currently finalising the new Local Development Plan before it is presented to elected members at the start of next year.

A 12-week public consultation will also be held next year for consideration of the sites which have been identified for future development.

This week's news has been welcomed by campaigners from Don't Build on the Eildons.

Campaigner Greg Simpson told us: "The developers have had their sights on this farmland since 2006 and they hoped approval for the Croft site would open it up.

"It’s great to see our councillors move so quickly to stop this dead in its tracks."

No dates have yet been agreed for work to start on the development on the neighbouring Croft site.

Although permission was granted to Rural Renaissance in July legal agreements over development contributions and affordable housing have yet to be settled.

The local authority spokesman added: “The legal agreement is being progressed but has not been concluded yet. Once it is concluded, the decision notice will then be issued.”