PLANNING permission has been given for a vacant Jedburgh unit to be used for retail sales, against the council’s policy regarding use of allocated employment land.
The Border Print and Packaging industrial unit adjacent to the A68 at the northern entrance to the town has lain empty for several years.
The site, and neighbouring land, had been subject to a failed bid to create a supermarket, but now local firm Border Leisure has been given permission to use the single unit for retail sales and storage.
However, the change of use permission has been restricted to just three years, with the applicant needing to re-apply to continue with retail use in an attempt to ensure that the long term availability of allocated employment land in Jedburgh is not put at risk.
Councillor Simon Mountford said: “I think this is an no-brainer. There is an opportunity to assist a local business to grow, it is going to provide employment and it is going to utilise a building that has been empty for a while.
“What is not to like about it?”
His views were echoed by Councillor Michelle Ballantyne, who said: “This site has been vacant for some time, and it is much better that it is used for something.”
Jedburgh councillor Jim Brown also welcomed the building being put back in to use, but asked council officers to discuss with the applicant the prospect of improving the look of the roof.
Jedburgh-based Border Leisure currently trade online in caravan and outdoor accessories, but plan to use around half of the unit for display space, with a further 30 per cent allocated for retail sales and the rest set aside for storage.
They have estimated that six new jobs will be created, with around 60 per cent of the business coming from customers to the premises.
Councillors were also told that the introduction of a retailer of goods not available in Jedburgh could help increase footfall in the town centre.