A PEEBLESSHIRE businessman believes the local authority's planning department is about to run him off the road.

And he feels public safety is being ignored as they attempt to drive his 40 lorries a day down busy pedestrian streets in either Peebles or West Linton.

For the past five or six years Ally Brown has been searching for a new depot to expand his Border Mix firm as well as safeguard its current seven jobs.

Despite having found a new site near his current Dolphinton base, and winning the support of the local community council, planners at Scottish Borders Council are continuing to erect barriers.

Mr Brown and his agent met with planning department bosses towards the end of last year to iron out any problems over a re-location to the land next to the A702.

Although talks were positive and the businessman believed his wait was finally over, the department published a damning verdict just a couple of months later as they recommended refusal of his application.

At Mr Brown's request his application was removed from February's planning committee agenda.

And he followed up with a lengthy comments paper highlighting, what he believed to be, the planning department's inaccuracies.

Mr Brown told us: "My company is stuck in a rut at the moment and the only way to make progress is by expanding to a bigger site.

"This has been going on for a number of years but I was fairly upbeat following our meeting with the planning department in November.

"Then they published their report for the committee and it's if the meeting had never taken place.

"We're not just talking about little things, so much of it wasn't true and inaccurate, and, of course, they recommended refusal.

"It's as if they will do whatever they can to stop my business succeeding."

An argument put forward by Scottish Borders Council is that Borders Mix should exhaust alternative sites zoned for employment before attempting to re-locate to a greenfield area.

But the only two available options in the Tweeddale area are accessed through busy family neighbourhoods.

And planning chiefs have even suggested taking the growing business into South Lanarkshire as an alternative.

Mr Brown added: "We would have up to 40 trips to and from the depot each day with heavy vehicles, yet they want me to relocate to South Parks in Peebles which is at the end of the already congested Caledonian Road.

"The other site is next to a playpark at Deanfoot Road in West Linton which has an even tighter access.

"The whole idea of moving away from our current site in Dolphinton is so that we can be away from houses and expand without causing problems for neighbours."

Since Mr Brown submitted his list of 23 corrections to the original report, planners have redrafted their findings but have continued to recommend the application is refused on grounds of contravening the Local Plan, not justifying the need for a dwellinghouse as part of the development, and the loss of carbon-rich soil.

Mr Brown's application is due to be considered by Scottish Borders Council's planning committee on Monday.