At the Scottish Borders Council meeting in September the responses to the consultation on the Local Plan were debated.
Despite the history of the “Netherbarns” site in Galashiels at has, once again, been inserted into the Local Plan as a site for housing development.
This time around, the Local Plan showed that SBC supported housing development on that site despite further complaints and the historical objections by many which had resulted in it’s removal from the Local Plan on previous occasions.
Councillor Aitchison continued The Borders Party objection to this site being included in the plan in the future by proposing that the wording in the plan be changed to ask the Reporter, who supported it’s removal before, to make the decision as to whether it be included or removed again.
The motion Councillor Aitchison put forward also suggested that SBC would accept the decision of the Reporter and that the decision should be final.
Councillor Aitchison’s motion received great support from Councillor’s Cook and Parker in the debate and the motion was carried by a good majority despite the Conservative Group, Councillor Edgar (Independent) and Councillor Nicol (Lib.Dem) voting against the motion.
Councillor Aitchison said “The importance of this site to the future of tourism in the area and the success of Abbotsford cannot be underestimated and it is to be hoped that the Reporter will see the value of Abbotsford as “The Jewel in the Crown” of Border’s tourism”. He went on “Abbotsford and the surrounding area are vital to the success of the Borders Railway – it is vital that we protect these valuable assets”