A WEST Linton couple are set to appeal against a rejected planning application to build a home in open countryside.

Erlend and Karen Milne, of West Linton, are trying to build a house and detached garage in a greenfield just outside of the western boundary of the village.

However, Scottish Borders Council planning officers rejected the application, stating that the application “would amount to sporadic residential development in a countryside location unrelated to a building group.”

The Milnes have now appealed to the councillors sitting on the local review body, which next meets on Monday 21 January, to overturn the rejection.

Ranald Dods, a planning officer for Scottish Borders Council, has since written to councillors asking them to stick with the planning department’s decision and refuse the application.

He writes: “The proposed development is located on a greenfield site within the countryside.

“Notwithstanding the fact that it may be possible for a future application to show a house could be accommodated on the site in order to comply with policies relating to design, amenity, parking and drainage, the critical issue is that the proposal is outwith the defined settlement of West Linton and does not respect the rural character of the area and neighbouring land uses and would not add to the sense of place.

“The proposal is therefore contrary to council planning policies and published guidance on new housing in the countryside.

“The applicant has advanced no material reasons to set aside the terms of the development plan and it is recommended that planning permission in principle is refused.”

In response, Galashiels-based Ferguson Planning, on behalf of the Milnes, has sent in its own submission to the local review body, asking councillors to overturn the decision of the planning department.

It reads: “The development proposal is situated within the corner of a field which is already clearly fenced off from the rest of the field and which shares a sense of place with the building group.

“The site is located in close proximity to two other dwellings, with the other two dwellings within the building group being of greater separation, but still part of the building group.

“The proposal is justified on the basis of the building group expansion justification, but it should also be noted that the proposal will include, as an ancillary use to the principal residential use, workshop space for the appellant’s rural business.

“There is no effective business space in West Linton for small workshop space.”

The appeal statement also highlights that no objections have been raised by Transport Scotland or the council’s roads officer in relation to parking and access, and states that tree-planting and landscaping will be undertaken to help assimilate the proposal with the existing building group.