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Rodents block house build plan

By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
Rodents block house build plan

SMALL rodents could play a part in blocking a house from being built in Auldgirth.

Water voles – a protected species in the UK – have been spotted at a site in Glenmidge where there are plans to construct a new home.

This is one of several reasons that have been put forward by nearby residents who are opposed to a new house being built in the area.

David Mathews has submitted a planning application to Dumfries and Galloway Council to build the L-shaped property, which would also require a septic tank and soakaway.

However, council planning case officer Claire Eckstein has recommended refusal of the new house build, stating that it “would not accord with or enhance the character” of the small group of buildings already in the area.

Keir Community Council also lodged an objection, insisting the site was unsuitable and “partially waterlogged and appears to be home to water voles, a protected species.”

Concerns have also been raised about the access in and out of the site, while six residents who live nearby submitted similar objections to the council. They argued that application “would be harmful to the general amenity” and any new houses “change the rural, community character of the hamlet.”

Highlighting the potential effect on wildlife, the objectors stated: “It is also home to a protected species. Due to the wet conditions of the proposed area, water voles have been observed on the proposed site on several occasions – as recently as August 2022.

“Herons on the marshland adjacent have also been observed, so any plans to drain that area as a mitigation would impact biodiversity, not

just for the herons, but the water voles too.”

The house building application will go before the council’s planning committee next Wednesday where councillors will make the final decision.


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