School park petition launched

A protest petition has been launched with the aim of scuppering plans to build a new £55m Galashiels Community Campus on part of the town’s Scott Park.

Monday, 28th December 2020, 10:55 am
Boreholes in Scott Park.

Ahead of a full public consultation, Scottish Borders Council’s preferred option for the new Galashiels Academy is to build it at the western edge of the park.

That prospect horrifies a number of townsfolk who regard Scott Park as one of the few remaining open spaces in the town, used widely by families for a range of social events and sporting activities.

They are calling on the council to develop an alternative proposal to its preferred plan by making use of the existing seven hectare school site to accommodate new campus buildings and pitches.

Now a petition against the preferred option has been launched by town civil engineer Stuart Gordon - available at change.org/p/scottish-borders-council-save-scott-park-galashiels.

One of the opponents, Denise Clark, of Forest Crescent, Galashiels, fears the go-ahead for the park scheme could open the floodgates for development on another much-loved greenspace in the town, the Gala Policies.

She said: “This proposal was supposed to be up for public consultation but they put in the boreholes and also put tags on the trees for those that were to be saved and left the trees with no tags that were earmarked to go, suggesting they had already made up their minds.

“My personal feeling is that you cannot separate the fate of the park and Gala Policies. If they actually get to build on Scott Park then that adds more impetus to the threat to the Gala Policies, which is adjacent.

“There is a proposed development for a ring road coming from Clovenfords and another road coming up from Balmoral Avenue, which is going to impact on the Gala Policies. There is a bigger picture that people need to be aware of but in the immediate term it is the fight for Scott Park.

“I cannot believe that in this environmentally enlightened age, Scottish Borders Council would even think about building on such an important greenspace. To all, like me, who care about the environment, please sign the petition Save Scott Park, but very importantly, please also take time to comment on the SBC local plan by e-mail at local [email protected] or in writing to Forward Planning, Council Headquarters, Newtown St.Boswells, Scottish Borders TD6 OSA.”