NEW homes in a Borders village have been given the green light despite concerns that the properties represented a “snooper’s charter”.

Scottish Borders Council’s Planning and Building Standards Committee this week gave the go-ahead to five new homes on land to the east and west of Lauder Road in Stow.

Some existing residents raised concerns that the elevated nature of three of the proposed properties put their privacy at risk.

Resident Ian Parnell, speaking on behalf of the objectors, said: “You are being asked to approve a scheme which is nothing less than a snooper’s charter. Our homes and our gardens will become gold fish bowls for the sole entertainment of those purchasing plots D, E and F.

“If we have children playing in our gardens they will be watched, snooped upon, possibly recorded, entirely unsupervised by those high above in their first-floor, full height glazed windows. As you can imagine this potential scenario has been deeply upsetting for ourselves and our neighbours.

“The report clearly acknowledges that the long-established guidance on these matters has not been met but argues that because of the height difference these impacts are reduced, this is not the case. The height difference exacerbates the problem.”

Objectors also raised concerns over potential drainage issues and the safety of a retaining wall at the location.

Members, who unanimously approved the application, were informed that an element of “over-looking” was accepted but that a “robust planting scheme” would, once it matures, help address the issue.