A HAULAGE company’s bid for a new village lorry park near Kelso hangs in the balance due to a planning ‘glitch’, it has emerged.

James Y Burns Haulage was granted planning approval in August to create a facility for approximately six livestock haulage lorries with the future possibility of erecting a livestock shed and a wash bay on land east of Unit 3 Croft Park Industrial Estate at Morebattle.

But one of the conditions of the approval was the creation of a bell mouth and pavement at the site “to ensure the development hereby approved is served by an appropriate form of access, in the interests of road safety”.

But the haulage firm claims that condition makes the whole development “economically unviable” and that it cannot go-ahead unless it is removed.

An appeal for the removal of the condition is to be considered by members of Scottish Borders Council’s local review body when they meet on Monday (November 20).

The applicant currently operates out of a unit on a farm between Kelso and Morebattle which has recently been granted planning consent to develop a distillery.

An appeal statement, to be considered at next week’s meeting, says: “One of the conditions of the development was that the haulage business is relocated.

“As a result, the applicant lodged the application to move their business back to the village of Morebattle where it first started, when it was previously located in the centre of the village many years ago.

“J Y Burns Haulage previously had their depot within the village; however the villagers were concerned about the disruption caused by large lorries turning and parking off the narrow main street, therefore when an opportunity to move arose, the business moved several miles away to its current location. All parties were happy with this decision.

“None of the employees of the business reside in Morebattle, all commuting by car, and will continue to do so at the new site. With shift patterns and a limited public transport system to this remote village, this is the only method of commuting to work.

“The nature of the applicant’s business is that lorries are collected, and drivers are either away all day moving livestock, or more commonly away all week, from Monday morning until Friday afternoons. We do not anticipate therefore that the footfall to the village shop will increase at all because of this development.

“We are grateful for the successful granting of planning consent for our applicant’s planning application, however we do not believe that this condition is fair, or fully justified.

“The additional investment required by the applicant to meet this condition alone before starting his development of a lorry park would make the project completely unviable, therefore unless this condition could be lifted, this development will not be able to take place.

“Scottish Government planning and economic policies all target boosting rural areas whilst protecting their rural character, however, if conditions make it unviable for businesses to invest in the area, these villages will be unable to thrive for future generations.”