BOSSES at a not-for-profit housing association have hit back at critics who accused them of only being interested in making money.

Eildon Housing Association has come under more fire after defending controversial plans to build affordable homes in last week’s Peeblesshire News.

The charity this week said it wanted to put an end to “misleading” comments on social media and insisted that it was trying to address the chronic shortage of affordable housing in Peebles.

A decision on plans for 40 flats in two blocks of four-storey buildings at Tweedbridge Court will be made by Scottish Borders Council on Monday.

The application has caused uproar amongst campaigners, who say they support plans for affordable housing, but fear the scale and design will spoil the iconic view of a prime location in the community.

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, blasted the charity for “mindlessly pushing ahead with travel lodge style student accommodation”.

She said it would be a major detriment to residents who live close to the proposed “monster buildings”.

She added: “It’s not about them being saints and providing much-needed housing, it’s about them squishing in as many people as possible to make back their money.”

And, in a letter to the Peeblesshire News, resident James McAuslin said the population of Peebles fully understood and welcomed proposals for more housing, but not at a cost to the environment or by over development.

He claimed an artist’s impression of the new flats presented a false picture of Eildon’s proposals.

Last week Eildon defended its revised designs and told the Peeblesshire News that lower level designs would not be practical, given the depth of foundation and flood prevention measures required.

This week, chief executive Nile Istephen told us the proposed development was an opportunity to provide 40 much-needed affordable homes and revamp the site.

He added: “In preparing our proposal we have engaged in extensive consultation on how the plan to regenerate the derelict site can be best designed and incorporate high-quality landscaping.” He said the proposals fully complied with stringent council planning guidelines and flood prevention requirements.

Planning officers have recommended the proposal be approved. But objectors say they were aghast when they read in the planning reports that “in comparison to the original submission, the number of objections are considerably less”.

Worried locals wrote to Scottish Borders Council seeking assurances that their original objections would be taken into consideration as they were still not happy with the plans.

One, Clifford Balson, has also voiced concerns that the Scottish Borders Strategic Investment Plan 2017 stated that Tweedbridge Court would provide around 28 homes for social rent. The following year the number of units in the strategic plan increased to 32, and now the number has risen to 40, which he describes as “unacceptable”.

A group of objectors intends to travel to SBC on Monday to have their say as the plans go before councillors.