Jedburgh school site ownership issues are resolved

Howdenburn Primary School, Jedburgh.
Howdenburn Primary School, Jedburgh.

Scottish Borders Council is fully within its rights to put Jedburgh’s Howdenburn Primary School site on the market.

Last week, residents questioned whether the Lothian Road site was the council’s to sell, as some believed it was gifted to the town by the late William Skead before the school was built in 1970.

But this week it emerged that the local authority does indeed own the land.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesman added: “Checks have been carried out by our estates and legal teams, which have confirmed the land at Howdenburn Primary School was acquired by the County Council of Roxburgh in 1972.

“The checks also confirmed the site does not form part of the Common Good land which was acquired from the trustees of William A Skead by the Provost and Magistrates of the Burgh of Jedburgh in 1930.”

Jedburgh Community Council chairman Rory Stewart, told Tuesday’s meeting: “The disposals from the court in Edinburgh are there for all to read and you can quite clearly see that the ground was sold, and legally, by the looks of the paperwork.”

Howdenburgh Primary is one of the town’s three schools due to close once pupils transfer to the town’s new £32m intergenerational campus at Hartrigge Park next March.

The council put the 5.6-acre site on the market earlier this month through Galashiels firm Edwin Thompson. The school will be demolished and the site will be available as a cleared site in autumn 2020.