Kelso beauty treatment is set to cause ugly disruption

Pavement in Bridge Street, Kelso.
Pavement in Bridge Street, Kelso.
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Kelso citizens have been warned they face up to 18 months of disruption once work starts on lifting and relaying the iconic cobbles.

The work is part of the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) to regenerate the town’s historic centre.

Costing £1.4million, it runs until 2015, and work has started on the town’s Bridge Street, replacing sections of worn pavement.

But this has already been hit by controversy after workmen used a type of grout on one section which left the surface of the new flagstones discoloured and which will now have to be redone.

Scottish Borders councillor Tom Weatherston says the problem will be remedied.

“Some people see it and think it is finished, but it is not,” he told us.

However, local community councillor Colin McGrath, who is on the stakeholders’ group, is more worried.

“A special machine will be used to rebuff the flagstones. What worries me is if they do other areas with this grout and end up having to rebuff them all, what will that mean for the special anti-chewing gum lacquer-type surface?”

And he warned: “The next stage is when all the cobbles are lifted and relayed. This will be a major job and a serious disruption to the town lasting 18 months, and I don’t think people are fully aware of this.”

SBC says this work will start in late summer and talks are under way to minimise disruption to local events, with no work planned during Civic Week.