Galashiels scheme rejection contested

A decision by ministers to reject plans for housing close to Sir Walter Scott's former home near Galashiels has been challenged in the Court of Session.

Developer M & J Ballantyne raised the action in a bid to refer the matter back to the Scottish Government directorate for planning and environmental appeals.

The house builder insisted that its proposals are consistent with both Scottish Borders Council's structure plan and national policy.

Ballantyne's application for 79 homes at Netherbarns was narrowly approved by the council in April. The local authority named the area as a potential housing site in its local plan.

However, both Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland objected to the move. They argued that the development would erode the national importance of the landscape surrounding Scott's former home at Abbotsford House.

A five-day public inquiry took place in January. The plan was rejected by lead planning minister Stewart Stevenson last month.

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