Go-ahead given for demolition of part of old Hawick mill as progress continues on £6m redevelopment plans
Part of Hawick’s industrial past is to disappear now the go-ahead has been given for demolition work at a former textile mill.
Approval has previously been granted by Scottish Borders Council planners for part of the old Peter Scott factory in Buccleuch Street to be converted into 10 apartments for older people.
The factory closed in August 2016 after operating for nearly 150 years, and it has stood empty since then and has become a regular target for vandals.
Plans for the redevelopment are being drawn up by Galashiels-based Aitken Turnbull Architects on behalf of Pesco Developments, an offshoot of Maramar Holdings, the West Yorkshire company that bought the site in July 2017.
Now the green light has been given to demolish various single-storey buildings within the centre of the complex, mainly former knitting and weaving sheds.
That includes the removal of the connecting roof between the weaving sheds and the frontage of the yarn store.
That work is required to allow pedestrian and vehicular access to the undercroft parking at the site.
A spokesperson for the architect’s said: “The demolition of these redundant buildings facilitates access to the new development and provides for the possible future development of the Buccleuch Street block.
“The central open area will be landscaped to provide additional amenity for residents.”
One of those delighted at the progress being made on the £6m project is Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson, a hand-knitter at the factory for a decade from 1988.
He said: “Isn’t it fantastic that this is all private investment coming into the town at a time when we all need it?
“It’s providing much-needed housing for this part of the town so close to the A7, the town centre and local shops. I am sure that local shopkeepers will be delighted about the extra trade.
“A few former employees that I have spoken to have said that they are delighted that this is happening to the former Pesco’s mill, albeit as something other than a mill.
“Some of them are saying that at least most of the building will be saved.
“It’s unfortunate that the weaving sheds will be lost, but I understand that the developer has been working with the council to provide much-needed parking.
“In these days of doom and gloom, isn’t it heartening to see a developer investing so much private money in the town?
“Someone obviously knows that Hawick has a great future in spite of coronavirus and economic downturn in other areas of the Borders.”
Fellow Hawick and Hermitage councillor Watson McAteer agrees, saying: “Further planning approval for the redevelopment of the Pesco site is fantastic news for our community.
“Turning this historic building into a commercially-viable property signals commitment and investment into the long-term future of our town.
“I look forward to seeing this old mill once more bursting into life, creating a high-quality modern facility at the southern gateway to Hawick.”
Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall added: “This news will be greatly welcomed in the town, and it now paves the way to crack on and redevelop this once-thriving knitwear factory.
“Many families in the town will, of course, have their own very special memories of their connection with Pesco’s, which served our town so well for nearly a century and a half.
“The time, however, has come to move on, and I, for one, look forward very much to seeing this building now being brought back to life in another way that will I’m sure benefit our community again.”
The landmark chimney at the site is to be retained, as are many internal features and fittings.