Concerns raised over Reston plans

Planning application.Planning application.
Planning application.
A planning application in Reston has been recommended for approval, despite the objections of 15 local residents and the community council.

Hagan Homes plans to build five new houses on land north-west of the primary school.

However, concerns have been raised over the access road that heads north-west from the Main Street.

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The community council’s objection letter reads: “This road has been highlighted over the past 10 years to Scottish Borders Council’s roads department, Police Scotland and councillors, with the concern over safety.

“Several meetings have been held with council road safety engineers as well as police and representatives from the local primary school.

“The concerns raised have been of speeding vehicles, damage to property and parking.

“The development wishes to increase the traffic flow along this road; a narrow class ‘C’ road.

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“The road is unsuitable for widening or installation of ‘passing places’ and therefore we would not recommend the proposed ingress/egress point to the development.”

Hagan Homes’ agent, Eyemouth-based Bain Swan Architects, say that the development of housing around Reston has been curtailed both by the financial crash in 2008 and the lack of capacity at Reston Primary School.

However, they say this development will not adversely affect the primary: “This application is for five family houses at Braeheads, Reston, on part of a site to the west of Reston Primary School which has been designated for housing in successive local development plans since 1994.

“Like the two other significant housing developments in the village on sites allocated in the local development plan at Reston Mart and West Reston (at the east end of the village), development at Braeheads has been stymied by the financial crash and recession in 2008, but also by infrastructure inadequacies; chief among which is the lack of primary school capacity and the lack of a concrete plan to increase it.

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“The unfortunate result is that none of the development proposed by Scottish Borders Council in Reston, which amounts to a significant contribution to the proposed housing expansion in Berwickshire, can at present proceed.

“This proposal for five houses takes advantage of remaining existing water supply, foul drainage capacity and crucially primary school capacity and is therefore unconstrained by infrastructure difficulties.

“The application design process has included the pre-application consultation carried out in 2012/13.

“There is a strong component of placemaking in the design with the five houses carefully arranged around a courtyard formed behind the existing substantial hedge on the south side of the road at Braehead Cottages.”

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Due to the number of objections raised, the application will be decided by councillors sitting on the planning and building standards committee, which is due to meet on Monday 29 April to deliberate on the proposals.

Council planning officers are recommending the application is approved, subject to planning conditions.

Joseph Anderson , Local Democracy Reporting Service