A BORDERS social landlord has failed in its attempt to overturn a decision for building two blocks of flats in Peebles.

Eildon Housing Association was refused permission for developing a site at Tweedbridge Court by Scottish Borders Council in February.

The Selkirk-based housing provider took its fight to the Government's Planning and Environmental Appeals Division.

But this week Reporter Christopher Warren dismissed the appeal.

In his findings he stated: "Despite the principle of development being established and the benefits it would offer, the proposed development does not accord overall with the relevant provisions of the development plan and that there are no material considerations which would still justify granting planning permission.

"I have considered all the other matters raised, but there are none which would lead me to alter my conclusions."

Eildon wanted to build a total of 40 apartments on the brownfield site next tot he Tweed.

Despite the housing association revising its original plans by lowering the two blocks in height by 70 centimetres, strong opposition continued.

Both Peebles Community Council and the town's Civic Society added their voices to the objections of more than 100 residents.

And elected members representing Tweeddale East, Shona Haslam and Stuart Bell, both spoke out against the plans during the planning committee meeting in February.

Mrs Haslam said the community was not against affordable housing on the site but felt the current plans would have a severe visual impact.

Mr Bell said he did not find the design and character of the buildings acceptable.

The Appeal Division Reporter carried out a site visit in Peebles last month.

While Mr Warren agreed the site was rightly zoned for housing, he believed the negative aspects of the proposals far outweighed the advantages.

He concluded: "The proposed development would make an important contribution to the affordable housing provision in Peebles.

"It is on a brownfield site which is allocated for residential development in the adopted local development plan.

"The site is also highly accessible, and overall I find it very well suited for providing affordable homes, despite the sensitive nature of the site.

"However, this must be balanced against the undesirable aspects of the development, discussed above.

"In light of my findings above in regard to the incompatibility of the design and scale of the building for its context, I consider the development would have a detracting influence upon the distinctive character and appearance of the riverside area of the town, and it would appear incongruous in this location.

"The development’s appearance would fail to preserve or enhance the Peebles conservation area, to which the site is adjacent."