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House bid rejected in farmer’s field

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
House bid rejected in farmer’s field

A CASTLE Douglas farmer’s bid to build a new house on one of his fields has been rejected.

Alexander Grierson wanted to construct a one-and-a-half storey home at Sandfield Farm on Ayr Road, along with installing a septic tank and soakaway in an adjacent field.

A hay shed and former stable block would have had to be demolished to make way for the house, and the development would have required alterations to the roads access onto the A713.

Mr Grierson, who runs a haulage firm, claimed that a new house was needed on the site because his farm was expanding with more sheep and cattle.

He submitted a planning application to Dumfries and Galloway Council last year, but this received three objections from members of the public and was recommended for refusal by council officers.

Planning officers stated: “It has not been satisfactorily demonstrated that a new dwellinghouse is essential at this location for the operational needs of an agricultural, or other, business and, accordingly, the proposal is contrary to the policy of the council.”

Three objections to the house being built were also made by residents living in Crossmichael Road, Castle Douglas, Broomlands in Dumfries, and Lockerbie.

The objectors questioned some of the figures put forward by the applicant to the council and also complained about loss of mature trees.

The matter was brought before the council’s local review body meeting last week where councillors considered all the facts before making a final decision.

An agent representing Mr Grierson wrote to the council: “Although there is no house associated with the farm at present, prior to the purchase of the land, there was a farmhouse attached to the steading which might have served the appellant’s needs, but there are now no buildings capable of being converted.”

He added: “There has been a distinct lack of understanding by the officers of the appellants’ situation in their attempt to expand a viable farming enterprise on this site, which should have been encouraged by the council.”

However, councillors agreed with the council officer’s judgement and refused to grant planning permission.

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