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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 08:52 GMT 09:52 UK
Legal action over Abbotsford plan
Abbotsford land
A legal action has been raised over the plans near Abbotsford
Developers have raised an action at the Court of Session after a 15m housing scheme opposite the historic home of Sir Walter Scott was rejected.

M&J Ballantyne wanted to build 79 houses at Netherbarns near Galashiels.

However, after a five-day public inquiry, a Scottish Government reporter rejected the plans which were opposed by Historic Scotland.

Now Ballantyne wants the decision to be referred back to the Scottish Reports Unit to be considered again.

It is the latest twist in a long-running saga over the proposal to build the houses near the banks of the River Tweed.

In April last year, officials on Scottish Borders Council recommended approval of the project.

'Slap in the face'

The following month it took the casting vote of the planning committee's chairman to give the scheme the green light.

However, because of the proposal's proximity to Abbotsford House and objections from the likes of the National Trust for Scotland it was taken to public inquiry.

The inquiry, held in January this year, heard two very different views of the plans.

A landscape expert who carried out an assessment on behalf of developers said the impact of the housing would be "negligible".

Opponents said the development would be a "slap in the face" to anyone who cared about Scotland's heritage.

It appeared a final decision had been reached when the Scottish Government Reporter rejected the plans.

There could now be one more chapter if the case is sent back for reconsideration.

Abbotsford housing plan rejected
12 Sep 07 |  South of Scotland
Abbotsford inquiry comes to close
31 Jan 07 |  South of Scotland
Site visit over Abbotsford plans
22 Jan 07 |  South of Scotland
Scott housing impact 'negligible'
17 Jan 07 |  South of Scotland
Date set for Abbotsford inquiry
14 Dec 06 |  South of Scotland
Abbotsford plans to go to inquiry
04 Aug 06 |  South of Scotland

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