PLANNERS are recommending a proposed £23 million housing development for Peebles is turned down.

Developers AWG Property and Taylor Wimpey want to build around 200 houses on land next to Kittlegairy.

And they also have plans for commercial and community buildings to be erected on another part of the land.

But accessing the 20 hectare site is considered a bridge too far for Scottish Borders Council.

Planners at the local authority have calculated that the new two-, three- and four-bedroom properties will generate an additional 117 car journeys per hour at peak times over the Tweed Bridge.

And the numbers, 1220 per peak hour, take the only road crossing in the town precariously close to its perceived maximum of 1250.

Planning officer Craig Miller also highlighted that part of the proposed site sits outwith the town boundary.

He said: "The application does not meet any of the qualifying tests for an exception to developing outwith the settlement boundary and the current Tweed Bridge and mini roundabout junction leading to the bridge do not have the capacity to cater safely for the traffic generated by the development.

"The applicant’s main position is to dispute the need for their development to await the provision of a second bridge across the Tweed.

"They consider the classification of the bridge combined with the width should provide for a maximum capacity of 1900 two-way vehicle movements per hour."

The Planning Permission in Principle application has also attracted objections from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency over flooding concerns, as well concerns from both Peebles Community Council and Peebles Civic Society.

There was also a total of 29 private objections, mainly concerning traffic, building outwith the town boundary, and the town's infrastructure being unable to cope with further housing.

Representatives of AWG Property and Taylor Wimpey will argue on Monday that a recent independent study into the Tweed Bridge proves there is sufficient capacity for the new houses to be built.

And they will attempt to convince members of Scottish Borders Council's planning committee that their plans are worthy of approval.

As well as raising around £3 million in developer contributions, towards a replacement Peebles High School and further infrastructure, the developers claim around 57 construction jobs will be created.

And a further 60 jobs will be created on the commercial land adjacent to the housing.

They have also highlighted that the local authority can expect council tax contributions in excess of £225,000 each year from the new houses.

A spokesman told us: "In addition to 57 construction jobs created per year during the construction phase, another 86 indirect or induced jobs will be supported per year as a result of the construction operations.

"It is estimated that home-owners will spend approximately £1.1 million in setting up their new homes, much of which will be spent locally.

"Approximately £4.8 million will also be spent annually on living expenses, much of which will be spent locally and in turn this will create around 20 jobs."

The developers will lay out their case in a pre-meeting briefing and hope to demonstrate how a residential development can be supported to the south of the River Tweed for up to 200 houses without the need for a second bridge.

Andrew Roberts, senior strategic land and planning manager for Taylor Wimpey said: "Development of this £23 million scheme, addressing a housing shortage within this area of the Borders, will bring considerable economic benefits to Peebles.

"It will also assist in the much-needed expansion of Peebles High School as well contributing towards the delivery of a second crossing over the Tweed.

“We are pleased to note that from independent transport analysis undertaken recently, development can be accommodated by the current bridge.

"Development also provides opportunities for employment uses on the site and we are conscious that there is a major demand for community space, especially on the south side of the Tweed, where facilities are currently lacking.

“We look forward to presenting to councillors on the committee and urge them to take note of the considerable merits of our development to the local community.”