Disappointment over Kelso park lighting

Paths in Shedden Park in Kelso.
Paths in Shedden Park in Kelso.

Pleas for lighting to be installed in Kelso’s Shedden Park to illuminate the pathway for residents of the nearby retirement flats at Kerfield Court, have been knocked back on grounds of cost.

A meeting was held last week between town councillors and local authority officials over the feasibility of the council spending money to illuminate the pathway that runs through the park and connects Rose Lane with Dryinghouse Lane.

Residents of the retirement flats use the park pathway as a shortcut into the town centre or to the nearby Tait Hall.

However, Robert Young, the head of engineering and infrastructure at Scottish Borders Council, confirmed to Kelso councillors yesterday that paths in the park were the responsibility of the local authority, but not as part of the adopted roads network.

The budget to maintain the street lighting network already stands at £1.1m and Mr Young said he is not convinced there is a strong enough business case for what would be an additional capital expenditure of around £22,000.

However, Mr Young said that, while he considered the lighting on Dryinghouse Lane adequately illuminated the park pathway to Shedden Park Road, he could consider mounting extra lights on the existing columns on Dryinghouse Lane.

Most of the infrastructure for this is already in place, and therefore any cost would be far less than completely new lighting. “I acknowledge that this is not the response the residents of Kerfield Court will be wanting, but I consider it sets out the current council view and offers pragmatic alternatives for provision,” he said.

However, a disappointed Councillor Tom Weatherston (Con) told The Southern he firmly believes lighting should have been a planning condition at the time of the construction of Kerfield Court.

“I appreciate the financial conditions we are now facing and accept there are many other pressures on this budget, so I welcome the offer of enhanced lighting along the path towards Shedden Park road and would urge the department to at least keep the door open for dialogue with residents all round the park on the possibility of getting more lighting for the park in future budget negotiations,” he said.

“ I don’t see this as the end of the road.”