New ruling paves way for demolition of 'eyesore' building at the heart of Jedburgh town centre

An ‘eyesore’ building in Jedburgh town centre is set for demolition, Scottish Ministers have confirmed.

By Paul Kelly
Thursday, 12th August 2021, 11:39 am
Councillor Scott Hamilton. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Councillor Scott Hamilton. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

The former ground-floor hair salon and upper floor flats at the corner of 12 Market Place and 2 High Street have been covered in scaffolding since 2015 after being judged dangerous due to falling masonry.

The council were unable to secure the co-operation of the early 19th century category C-Listed buildings six absentee owners to have it knocked down.

It therefore pushed ahead for a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to secure its demolition.

Now Scottish Ministers have announced that approval for the CPO has been granted, giving the council ownership and paving the way for it to be flattened.

It’s a decision which was today hailed by those who have long claimed that the presence of the rundown building has held back the town centre’s economic growth.

Jedburgh and district councillor Scott Hamilton is one of those who supported the CPO and is delighted at the latest announcement.

He said: “This is probably one of the biggest landmark victories for common sense. The CPO process took a long time but the right outcome has come about and we can start the planning for moving this building forward.

"This will come as huge relief to the people of Jedburgh who have had to endure road works, scaffolding and loss of trade during the many years this scaffolding has been in place. I am looking forward to the future not just for this site but the town as a whole.”

The site will be now be re-developed for housing, Mr Hamilton said, adding: “The design is still to be finalised but a large proportion of the original stone will be re-used to echo the buildings past.

"After some consultation it was decided that the ground floor which was originally proposed to be accommodation should be instead kept as retail/ community space. “The demolition and re-development will be a tricky processes which will require a lot of planning to reduce the impact on the High Street.

"Townsfolk have remarked to me that whilst this could mean a period of distribution they would be far more understand as long as they could see positive action on this site.”

Demolition will not prove popular in all quarters, however, as a petition to save it launched in 2019 garnered 500 signatures in just a week.

Scottish Borders Council and its members will now have to consider options for the future of the site.

Meanwhile, Ken Goddard, the representative of the property owner who opposed the CPO, said the decision had left his client in a “precarious situation”.

He said: “I'm very disappointed with the decision but not really surprised. It puts my client in a very precarious situation. I am awaiting further instructions and to fully review the report.”