Calls growing for new £55m Galashiels community school to be 'marked out'

Community councillors want plans for a new £55m Galashiels community campus in Scott Park physically drawn out on site – so townsfolk can judge how far it would encroach onto treasured green space.

Thursday, 4th February 2021, 3:02 pm
Boreholes in Scott Park ahead of proposed new campus being built there.

Community councillors would like the boundary of the new school marked out – possibly using sawdust.

However, the move has so far not met with agreement from the relevant officers at Scottish Borders Council.

At a meeting of Galashiels Community Council last night, Wednesday, January 3, a senior council officer also attempted to answer the concerns of members surrounding the new school’s environmental impact.

Boreholes being marked in Scott Park ahead of proposed new community campus being built there.

Community councillor Bill White said: "Members of the public have got half an understanding of how the building imposes into the Scott Park but if we put sawdust around, or whatever, just so people can see how big or how small it is, it would help.

"I don't really know how much of the Scott Park has been taken up. It certainly wouldn't take very long. It would take a council employee half an hour to put the stuff ‘round."

Committee chair Judith Cleghorn said: "I did put that question again to Councillor Aitchison on Monday and he came back and said he had discussed it with officers and it wasn't thought to be a particularly good idea to do that ."

Fellow community councillor Gordon Richardson responded: "That's complete rubbish. It's important that we know exactly what area it is going to take up.”

Galashiels and district councillor Euan Jardine added: “We'll push on and see. What you tend to see is that when you first ask the answer is no but when you push on a bit it tends to change.”

In written responses, John Curry, the council’s service director assets and infrastructure, outlined plans to replace green space if the new campus is sited in its entirety in the park.

He said: "The council has been clear that the building of the new campus extends in part of the current Scott Park, but a significant part of the current park remains and it is not being lost in its entirety. The plans will show that the council intend to replace part of the Scott Park taken with land adjacent and adjoining the existing park, primarily to the south and west of the existing building.”