College house to be a home

A listed building in Galashiels which was formerly part of a Borders College campus site is to be converted into a family home.

Friday, 6th November 2020, 2:35 pm
Updated Monday, 9th November 2020, 10:24 am
Thorniedean House in Galashiels.
Thorniedean House in Galashiels.

Category C-listed Thorniedean House on Melrose Road was deemed surplus to requirements in 2009 when the college transferred all its functions to a new campus at Netherdale.

Originally built as a mill owner’s home an application submitted to Scottish Borders Council to return it to residential use has now been given the green light by lead planning officer Carlos Clarke.

The applicants outlined their plans for the ex-college building, saying: “This property was originally built as a family home, it then became offices, but has now stood empty for a number of years.

“We would like to change its use so we can turn it into a family home. There will be no internal or external alterations taking place.”

In his report, Mr Clarke says: “This application seeks consent to convert a detached, category C-listed building to a single dwelling house from its previous use as offices.

“The property is a Victorian former villa located south of the Melrose Road, and accessed from a minor road to its west that separates it from the former Borders College site beyond, and leads to other properties, including former college buildings located within the southern half of the site.

“No internal or external alterations are currently proposed.

“It is not necessary, at this stage, to establish the suitability of the building for residential use. It is clearly suited for that purpose, having been built as such.

“However, the building is also clearly in need of refurbishment and any works may, potentially, go beyond repair and maintenance.

“This would also apply to external works, including new boundary treatments around the curtilage of the listed building.

“Again, though the brief encourage ‘enhancement’ of the grounds, this would be an unreasonable and unnecessary requirement for a simple conversion to one house.”

Thorniedean House was built in 1868 as a residential villa for the mill owner of Botany Mill in Galashiels.

The house was used as a girl’s school for pupils that were evacuated from Edinburgh during the Second World War and it became a part of Galashiels Academy in 1949.