PLANS to build 64 affordable houses on the former site of a Borders school have been approved by the council.

The proposal for the previous home of Earlston High School was discussed at a meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s (SBC) planning and building standards committee on Monday (April 26).

Committee chairman Simon Mountford, a Conservative representative for Kelso, said the plans were well designed and would provide “much-needed” affordable homes in the region.

In council papers submitted before the meeting, SBC officers outlined plans for the 2.3-hectare site to the south of High Street.

According to the papers, seven different building types have been proposed by applicant Hart Builders, including houses, colony apartments and cottage flats.

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Primary vehicular access for the new homes will be provided from East Green, with a secondary access through the Station Road industrial estate.

The papers add that a pedestrian route will be provided to the north towards the tennis courts with a footpath provided along the bank of the Turfford Burn.

After the meeting, Mr Mountford said: “Eildon Housing Association and SBC planning officers have worked together to produce a well-designed scheme that will provide much-needed affordable housing.”

During the consultation process, an SBC consultee on environmental health objected to the plans due to noise from the industrial estate adversely impacting the amenity of the proposed development.

Mr Mountford added: “The committee delegated authority to officers to agree appropriate noise mitigation measures regarding premises on the adjoining industrial estate and I am confident that these outstanding issues will be resolved.”

A new high school was constructed to the east of Earlston, with the former building partly demolished. However, some of it was retained and is used by Earlston Primary School.

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According to the council papers, the proposal for the 64 affordable units received 23 objections, with it noted that 10 were from the same address.

The objections included a detrimental impact on the tennis courts to the north of the site, loss of light and inadequate drainage, as well as “increased traffic causing congestion specifically during ‘school run’ times”.

However, members of the committee approved the development on Monday morning.

An SBC spokesperson said: “The application was approved, with powers delegated to officers to secure appropriate noise mitigation and subject to a legal agreement, conditions and applicant informative.”

A spokesperson for Eildon Housing added: “All of these homes are for social rent at affordable levels.

“This is fantastic news and means more families can benefit from high quality, warm, energy efficient places to live.”

The Earlston development forms part of Eildon’s five-year strategy launched in 2019 to provide affordable homes in the Borders. Alongside the Earlston proposal, planning is also in for homes at High Buckholm and St Aidan’s in Galashiels, according to the spokesperson.