Changes at the heart of Kelso
The reshaping of Kelso’s High Street continues with the conversion of a former commercial property into a five-bedroom home.
Approval has been granted to change the use of a prominent three-storey property at 42 The Square.
The address was formerly the offices of Crabtree and Crabtree Limited and Nightingales Home Help Service, but has now been unoccupied for almost two years.
A statement from Galashiels-based Ferguson Planning, on behalf of applicant Daniel Dunko, says: “The subject site is situated within Kelso’s town centre and above a ground floor commercial premises.
“Given the length of time the property has stood empty, and with the continuing concerns regarding the decline of Scotland’s high streets, it is considered important to promote more town centre living to try and address the decline in footfall and expenditure.
“One of the key ways to do that is to promote greater residential living within our town centres which will also assist in increasing spending and provide a boost to the local night time economy.
“Presently the property has remained vacant for 18 months and will be declining in terms of physical repair.
“The proposal seeks to upgrade the property and bring it back into active use for residential purposes.
“This will encourage knock on benefits and expenditure within shops and services in Kelso town centre, thus enhancing vitality and viability.”
In his report backing the conversion bid, Euan Calvert, Scottish Borders Council’s assistant planning officer, says: “This is a prominent building in The Square which benefits from a dual frontage.
“The ground floor shop is currently occupied by Cullen Kilshaw Estate Agents and the building is Category B Listed.
“I am satisfied that the change to residential use will not conflict with the adjacent retail or office uses.
“The building exhibits all the characteristics of a former townhouse and reverting to residential will not impact on the surrounding properties.”