CAMPAIGNERS battling to stop a 14-flat development at Kingsmeadows House say the developers have reapplied based “on a technicality”.

In May 2022, the latest bid by Granton Homes – which has planning permission in principle (PPP) – was thrown out by Scottish Borders Council (SBC) after more than 500 written objections by Peebles people against the destruction of woodland.

Last week two further separate full applications to SBC were made asking for variations in the wording of conditions two and seven of the PPP.

Last Thursday at Peebles Community Council’s (PCC) meeting, Save Kingsmeadows lead campaigner Mike Marshall asked for support against the suggested variations. He said: “Granton Homes has had its planning permission in principle for the best part of a decade.

“It should not be given five more years on a technicality – this needs more public scrutiny.”

One of the changes suggested by Granton Homes agent Pritchett Planning Consultancy Ltd was to remove the word “except” from the second condition.

It said the word – which features in a sentence stating that the development should only take place “except in strict accordance with the details so approved” – led to confusion.

Mr Marshall added: “Granton has two months left with its PPP. These applications are made under section 42 and, if granted, result in a whole new permission.

“The decision is based on each condition and there would be no full scrutiny.”

Members agreed to write to SBC’s planning and development standards manager, John Hayward, to say that PCC did not see the changes as ‘materially different’.

In August last year, PCC supported Mr Marshall and Cat McKay who sent a letter to SBC asking for a tree protection order (TPO).

It said that the potential development posed an “ongoing threat to the wider woodland”.

Speaking about the latest application Mr Marshall added: “We hope PCC asks SBC to treat this single-word change as non-material and if it needs changing, change the existing condition and don’t grant a new permission.

“And keep the protection for the wider woodland and add a TPO for the woodland.”

The agent for Granton Homes declined to comment, when contacted by this newspaper.

SBC said the design, layout and details of the proposed development “would not respect the character or appearance” of the site when the planning application was rejected in May 2022.

That year Gary Mawer, managing director of Granton Homes, said the firm was “committed to the sensitive development of the Kingsmeadows estate”.