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Councillors to visit farm for planning appeal

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Councillors to visit farm for planning appeal

COUNCILLORS will visit a farm in Moffat to make a final decision on whether or not a farmer should be allowed to build a house on the land.

Mr Hutchison, who has operated Chapel Farm for several decades, and his wife are seeking to build a new property on their land for retirement.

Now in retirement age, the wheels are in motion for the farm to be transferred over and their son to take on the running of the business. The plan is then for him to move into the main farmhouse, and the farmer and his wife to move into a new home.

Their initial planning application was rejected by planning officers at Dumfries and Galloway Council on the grounds that it would be located too far from the farmstead, and would go against planning policies on housing in the countryside.

However, this has been disputed by the family and their appeal was heard at the council’s local review body last week.

The committee’s five councillors agreed to visit the site and make their own minds up.

Annandale South Councillor Ian Carruthers, chairman of the local review body, said: “I’d just like to have a look at the logistical and operational function of the farm itself, and how it works.

“I’d like to see both the farm and the application site itself, and what the route is like.

“It’s said to be well under seven minutes on foot, but a lot quicker with a quad (bike).”

Nith Councillor John Campbell said that he wants to see the layout of the land himself to determine whether or not the planning case officer was right to refuse the initial planning application.

It is hoped that the site visit will take place within the next week or so.