Former hotel site set for makeover

THE people of Stow will get three months to air their views on the future of the former Royal Hotel site, writes Kenny Paterson.

Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee on Monday passed a planning brief for the Townfoot Road area alongside the main A7 road, with the Adopted Local Plan indicating there is capacity for 11 homes.

Demolished last year following a seven-year dispute, a replacement for the 19th-century building can not be higher than two storeys and must reflect the former hotel’s qualities, according to the planning brief.

Stow councillor Sandy Aitchison told TheSouthern this week: “Obviously this saga has gone on and on over the years and the village is crying out for a solution which gives the developer something but also gives us back the village.

“The fact that mixed use is still one of the recommendations is also important in that it says that, in part at least, it should add to the amenity of the village.

Mr Aitchison described the brief’s request for an innovative design using materials such as sandstone, whinstone, harling and slate as the most important part of the document.

“A good architect given this opportunity should be able to produce something both good to look at but paying some attention to the site in which it sits,” he added.