THE fate of a bid to build a house beside woodland in a Borders cul-de-sac is hanging in the balance.

Applicant James Hewitt was refused planning permission to build the property adjoining 16 Hendersyde Drive in Kelso.

The proposed house was deemed to be ‘out of character’ with the existing estate, would have a negative impact on trees at the location and represented a flood risk.

When members of the council’s Local Review Body met on Thursday (September 22), the majority indicated support for overturning the planning officer’s recommendation, after paying a site visit.

But ultimately a final decision was adjourned to enable the applicant to provide evidence on flood risk.

Tweeddale East councillor Marshall Douglas said: “My view was that it was a very small site and it was hard to imagine a building going up there that close to the trees. I would have grave concerns about any building on that site.”

Councillor Jane Cox, Hawick and Hermitage, disagreed, saying: “I’m not convinced that it would be detrimental to the woodland to build a property or properties within there. It appeared to be a large flat site and it is currently closed to the public, so it wouldn’t be any loss to the public. It looks like it would enhance the end of that cul-de-sac.”

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East Berwickshire councillor Aileen Orr supported the officer’s refusal, and added: “There was obviously people using the site because there was a path through the trees. As a greenspace I agree that it is not much used or at least strimmed down but it seemed the site was undulating, so I could understand how there was a flood risk.”

Councillor Donald Moffat, of the Mid Berwickshire ward, said: “To me there is no harm having a house on this site. There’s plenty of room for a house in there. It’s on higher ground and I don’t think there is any flood risk.”

Tweeddale West councillor Viv Thomson agreed that it could accommodate a house, but raised concerns about potential flood risk.

Councillor Eric Small, of the Tweeddale West ward,  said: “I think it is an ideal site for one house. It looks like a gap site at the moment if conditions are put in place for surface drainage, so I’d overturn the officer on this one.”

Hawick and Denholm ward councillor Neil Richards concurred, saying: “Personally I agree that this area could have a house or two houses even.”