REVISED plans by a housing association to create two four-storey flats in Peebles have been described as “carbuncles” by a community leader.

The application for affordable housing at an iconic beauty spot in the town has been met with opposition from locals, concerned at the scale and design of the buildings.

Eildon Housing Association’s new plans have failed to coax objectors into giving the thumbs up for the development.

Peebles Community Councillor Les Turnbull said: “To say that I was disappointed with the new plans that came in would be an understatement. With the volume of objections that have been submitted both by the community council and by over 100 objectors, all saying similar things, I really thought the applicant would have re-jigged their plans with a view to reducing the height of these buildings and they haven’t.

“There is a marginal reduction in the height of about one metre. Yes they’ve changed the roof lines, and if I’m being honest, the roofs themselves look better than the previous iteration.

“However, we’ve still got two four-storey buildings and they still look like carbuncles and totally inappropriate for that location, which is adjacent to the conservation area.

“I’ve spoken to the planning officers about this and they say that they have to address the application before them which I understand. We won’t know what the planning officers are going to say about this until they produce their report a week beforehand.”

Mr Turnbull claims the applicants have done very little to alleviate local people’s concerns.

And echoing these thoughts are local residents who live at nearby Tweedbridge Court.

Following a meeting on Tuesday night, they say Eildon has “completely disregarded” the concerns of the objectors.

The main thrust of their concern is the look and scale of the blocks of flats, which are twice the size of the previous buildings demolished last year.

Residents are in support of one aspect of the application, the need for more affordable housing in Peebles, and say Tweedbridge Court is the ideal site.

Speaking on behalf of locals who attended the meeting, Anne Snoddy said: “The previous Tweedbridge Court buildings occupied a footprint of nearly 2000 square metres and yet the current proposals occupy a footprint of just 1200 square metres. Therefore there is plenty of scope to allow an alternative design on this site with more appropriately sized buildings in keeping with the adjacent residential area.”

Objectors are also puzzled as to why the proposals are for family accommodation, but don’t include a safe area for children to play or provision for drying clothes.

The expected increase in the number of cars accessing the site from Caledonian Road continues to worry the community. “The occupants of the previous Tweedbridge Court buildings had very few cars between them due to disabilities/circumstances. Eildon are anticipating that 59 cars will be owned by the new occupants, all of which will have to exit through Dukehaugh and emerge from a difficult junction onto Caledonian Road, which will already be way beyond capacity if the plans for the development at South Parks goes ahead,” added Mrs Snoddy.

Dukehaugh homeowners are also anxious about the impact of a two-storey bicycle shed to be erected on the boundary of the site.

Locals are calling for the current plans to be rejected, claiming they go against numerous council policies.

And fresh calls are now being made for people who are unhappy with the revised plans to object before the outcome of the application is decided on Monday, February 4.

Mrs Snoddy added: “We would encourage as many people as possible to attend the meeting at Scottish Borders Council’s headquarters so the planning committee is fully aware of local concerns.”