News and Current Issues
916 Extra Houses for the 2016 Local Development Plan
The Scottish Government's Reporters artificial recalculation of Housing Allocation Numbers, lead to a directive to accommodate an extra 916 houses , which was to be addressed by Scottish Borders Council producing a Supplementary Planning Guidance within one year.
We were dismayed that the Council's proposals targeted the landscape and communities of the Central Borders yet again--the more so since the preferred sites for nearly 40% of these extra houses were within two miles of Abbotsford House and Scott's Managed Landscape.
We urged the Council to use Alternative Sites they had identified, but they did not and this Supplementary Guidance on Housing was Adopted in November 2017.
It can be found at www.scotborders.gov.uk/housingSG
Scottish Government's Planning Review
The Report of the Independent Panel had one glaring omission in that it recommended against adoption of an Equal Right of Appeal (ERA), continuing the relative disadvantage suffered by local people compared to developers.
The proposed Planning Bill that was put before the Scottish Parliament in December 2017 did not back the idea either.
However, various organisations, including those who gave evidence to the Panel, are campaigning for ERA, giving evidence to the Parliamentary Committeee during Scrutiny etc. and we continue in support of this movement.
Further discussion can be found on the website of Planning Democracy:
Next City Region Plan
The South East Scotland City Region has started to prepare the next Strategic Development Plan, which was intended to replace the current plan in 2017 and is intended to be effective for the next twenty years, to finish in 2037.
The first stage was the Consultation about the Main Issues to be addressed.
One of the headline targets is to secure a 25% increase in households and, given Edinburgh's previous solution of looking to the Borders to secure growth of its workforce, we were nervous of being lined up for a second hit. However, at this stage at least, this does not appear to be the preferred approach--but will need watching.
Currently the SESplanners are looking to the constituent Local Authorities for confirmation of their latest Affordable Housing plans to help inform the region's Housing Supply targets.
The Consultation on the Main Issues Report can be found at:
A Borders National Park?
Various groups, including at national level the Scottish Campaign for National Parks and the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, and interested individuals have begun campaigning for the creation of a new National Park, which would obviously deliver benefit to our local landscape--though we note a present suggestion for boundary does not include Abbotsford's Managed Landscape!
The Campaign commissioned an Independent Feasiblity Study, as requested by Scottish Borders Council.
In September 2017 the authors, Duncan Bride Associates, endorsed the feasibility and socio-economic benefits. The Campaign is preparing a Position Statement.
Details of the campaign, events planned and opportunities to comment or get involved, can be found on their web-site at: