THE division of a house into two distinct properties has caused consternation amongst neighbours in Edderston Road, Peebles.

The owners of Loaningdale, a large seven-bedroom house to the south of the town, want to divide the house into two dwellings, but neighbours of the property, who all share a private road, are trying to halt the development.

The applicants wish to resurface much of the road and create a passing place for vehicles.

However, the residents of the properties which share the drive have objected to the proposal on the grounds that all of the properties are co-owners of the drive and therefore any alteration to the private road can only be carried out with their agreement, which the developers have not sought.

Mrs Norah Ridley, of nearby Tantah House, writes in her letter of objection: “As co-owner of the driveway, I seek agreement from all parties to where the tarred area will end.

“The tarring of the existing access road stops before the entrance to Loaningdale. I accept that tarring that entrance will improve access to Loaningdale however I do not want the area all the way to our gate/fence-line tarred.

“Furthermore, I require written approval that the width of the access road will remain the same as the original driveway.

“I object to any work being carried out on the access road without prior approval of all parties concerned.”

Mrs Les Cashin, whose property is also at Tantah House, voiced a similar objection: “We are somewhat confounded that the proposed changes to the driveway were drawn up and submitted without any consultation with ourselves.

“The applicant therefore needs to secure agreement from all co-owners of this land, including design, materials used and meeting the cost of this work before proceeding.”

At a meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s planning and building standards committee, Ms Ruth McKean, the applicant, was represented by Ferguson Planning, of Island Street, Galashiels.

Ferguson Planning’s Kate Jenkins told the committee that an agreement with the objectors was soon to be agreed: “The proposal involves the subdivision of an existing seven bedroom house to form two dwelling houses.

“Essentially, it’s separating off the extension. There is no additional footprint, and officers have agreed this does not represent overdevelopment.

“The private access has been the subject of much discussion. Importantly, the roads planning service have no objections whatsoever.

“The applicant has actively engaged with the shared owners of the drive to reach an agreement regarding the access works, despite this being a seperate, civil legal matter.

“Those with a legal ownership interest in the road are Loaningdale and the upper and lower dwellings in Tantah House.

“The other properties only have right of access.

“A legal agreement is currently being drafted which will outline the works and seek agreement from the owners of Tantah. The owners have therefore sought to withdraw their objections.”

Following the representations by Ms McKean’s agents, councillors sitting on the planning and building standards committee agreed to grant planning permission on the condition that the private road is brought up to standard with public roads.

Galashiels and District councillor Andy Anderson said: “With regards to the subdivision, I have no immediate concern. But as it appears they have extended the house and then subsequently converted it into a separate dwelling, that gives me a little bit of cause for concern for future applications.

“Overall, I don’t see an issue with the compartmenting of the property though.

“I’d like to see the access being improved prior to any work starting and I think that’s an essential course of action. With that being done, I don’t have any problems with this.”

East Berwickshire councillor Jim Fullarton added: “I think we’ve got a task of finding whether this is a fair and reasonable application of our policies.

“I think the access improvements could lead to the road being adopted by the council, which would be of benefit to all residents.”