A BID to build six houses on a riverside site in Selkirk has cleared the first planning hurdle.

But continued concerns raised by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) over flooding mean that the proposals for the detached houses on Ettrickhaugh Road will need to also be passed at Holyrood.

The planning permission in principle application from Moyle Land and Development would see a 1.8 hectare site across from the entrance to the town's cricket club being turned from a paddock and grazing land into housing.

Although the area was once prone to flooding, the recent Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme has made the proposed development next to the former mill lade more acceptable to Scottish Borders Council's planning department.

The department's flood protection officer stated: "Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme was completed in 2016 and offers flood protection to the town of Selkirk from the Ettrick Water, Long Philip Burn and Shaw Burn.

"A flood embankment has been constructed from Old Mill Farm to Philiphaugh Mill and a flood wall is in place on Ettrickhaugh Road from the Lauriston Cottage to Selkirk Bridge.

"The mill lade has to be considered as a potential flood risk and an inlet control system is in place to limit the flow.

"The flow is now considerably lower than the conveyance capacity of the mill lade and the application site is considered to be beyond the reach of the mill lade during high flows on the Ettrick Water.

"The risk of flooding from the mill lade to the application site is therefore considered to be low."

The application, though, did attract 12 objections from neighbouring properties along Ettrickhaugh Road.

As well as concerns over density of the planned development other objections related to road safety, flooding and an impact on the environment.

But a recommendation from planning officer Brett Taylor to approve the bid was backed by members of the committee at Monday's meeting of the planning committee.

Mr Taylor stated: "The Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme has been designed and constructed to protect the application site and surrounding land and housing from risk of flooding and as such, it is considered that SEPA’s objection is outweighed by the advice articulated within the consultation responses of the flood risk officer."

The application will be considered by Scottish Ministers over the coming weeks.