Bid to convert a former Borders bank into a restaurant and takeaway is withdrawn

An application to convert a former Peebles bank into a restaurant and takeaway has been withdrawn after it attracted a number of objections.

Former TSB Bank.
Former TSB Bank.

Plans had been submitted by Peebles-based Sava Estates to Scottish Borders Council to change the use of the vacant TSB building in the town’s high street to form a restaurant and takeaway.

A supporting report supplied by the applicant’s agents, Glasgow-based Bennett Developments and Consulting, said the property has been vacant for some time and was ‘unremarkable’ in comparison to some of the attractive and historical buildings nearby.

But the application bid generated a number of letters of objection, many citing inadequate access, issues with noise and smells, loss of privacy and over-provision of eateries in the area.

One objector, Dr Catriona McKay, of the Lodge House, Peebles, said: “Peebles is already well served with takeaways, with two chip shops, a pizzeria, two Indian and two Chinese takeaways and one kebab shop, plus many other sit-in eating establishments, including hotels and restaurants.

“There seems to be no commercial justification for this change of use application. Several food establishments have stood empty in the High Street and immediate surrounds for a number of years, including: the old Sunflower and Mercat View restaurants; Panna restaurant and take away in the Northgate; and most notably the Tatler immediately across the road from this proposed development, which has been empty for 5 or 6 years. Furthermore, The Prince of India restaurant/take away has been on the market for sale for several years now. All of this would suggest that there is no market for another eatery, especially at the cheap/take-away end of the market.”

It was announced in October last year that the Hawick, Kelso and Peebles branches of the TSB were among 164 outlets to close as part of a three-year strategy which began in November, 2019.

Both the Peebles and Kelso banks had been closed since the first lockdown in March of last year.