Ministers edit out Selkirk bypass plan

Scottish Government ministers have taken a red pen to a proposal for a Selkirk bypass in a strategic planning document for Edinburgh and south-east Scotland.

Improvements on the A7, including a bypass, were forwarded to Scottish ministers in the SESplan document, put together by the six partner local authorities.

However, although ministers have approved the document, modifications have been made, including the Selkirk bypass being listed as being a “long-term aspiration which does not have Government support”. The plan also covers proposed developments along the A7 and A68 “corridors”.

Speaking at a meeting of Selkirk Community Council on Monday, SBC councillor Michelle Ballantyne said: “We are becoming a ‘corridor of Edinburgh’ as the Borders is described in the SESplan report.

“That is not why I came to the Borders.”

Discussing centralisation of some services, Mrs Ballantyne said: “Some of the things (decisions by government) we can’t do anything about, but we need to plan and mitigate for them. We are being steamrollered.”

Iain King, community council planning spokesman, agreed, adding: “Our voice is not being heard.”