A BID to remove a proposed woodland buffer zone from a controversial housing development at the foot of the Eildon Hills is poised for approval.

When planning approval was granted by Scottish Borders Council to build 28 homes on the Croft, near Dingleton Road in Melrose back in July 2019, a condition was made that the applicant, Rural Renaissance, was required to “identify an area of woodland outwith the site to its south eastern edge and make proposals for the retention, maintenance, regeneration and management of the woodland”.

Now the company has submitted an application to SBC asking for that condition to be removed to enable the development to proceed.

It argues that the land earmarked is outside the original application site boundary and outwith its ownership and is land owned by JS Crawford, a company which recently ceased trading.

When members of the council’s Planning and Building Standards Committee meet next week, on Monday (March 4), they will be recommended to accept the removal of the condition.

In a report to the committee, Julie Hayward, SBC lead planning officer, states: “Based on the information provided by the applicant, the site and adjoining woodland are in separate ownership and the applicant/owner of the site benefitting from planning permission has no control over the woodland.

“As as the developer does not own or have control over the neighbouring land and adjoining woodland it would not be appropriate to retain this condition.”