Ferguson Planning marks a milestone year by creating new jobs

Dani Sterling, Tim Ferguson and Kate Jenkins undertaking a site visit on a current housing proposal.
Dani Sterling, Tim Ferguson and Kate Jenkins undertaking a site visit on a current housing proposal.

A Galashiels planning and development practice which started as a one-man-band five years ago is marking its fifth birthday with the creation of two new posts.

Ferguson Planning, established by Tim Ferguson, 41, has seen its portfolio and staffing levels expand since it first opened in a small office at Tweed Horizons Centre at Newtown in 2013.

Today, the firm employs four members of staff at its Island Street office and satellite base in Tim’s native Ballycastle in Northern Ireland.

Associate director Kate Jenkins, of Peebles, joins the firm as associate director, having run her own practice in Peebles and Edinburgh for a decade.

“Kate brings with her considerable experience and a successful track record in delivering planning permissions and successful appeals for a wide variety of clients,” Tim said.

“Her experience in rural development, in particular, is considerable and will contribute to the delivery of a first-class service to landowners and developers across south and central Scotland as well as Northumberland.”

And the firm’s newest recruit, Dani Sterling joined last week as an assistant planner, having recently graduated from Queens University in Belfast with a degree in town planning design.

“We welcome an additional pair of extremely enthusiastic and capable hands to help with the practice’s increasing workload, and it is a pleasure to welcome Dani to the office”, Kate added.

Ferguson Planning’s local projects include the new mountain bike trails at Glentress, a proposed soft-play centre at Tweedbank, Caerlee Mill’s development in Innerleithen and a holiday cottage complex in Galashiels.

Further afield, the company has been delivering planning permission for a £20m luxury 120-bed hotel in Country Antrim and a 200-home development on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

“We have had an exciting mix of projects over the last five years,” Tim added.

“We are delivering good results locally and further afield.

“Ferguson Planning is receiving more and more interest from farmers seeking to diversify their land assets and in particular in the creation of high-end holiday cottages.

“We keep on going and expanding. We are doing quite a lot in the Borders, and the portfolio in Northumberland is growing too with a few jobs in Berwickshire and Spittal on the go.”

Tim, who studied at Edinburgh University and worked in the city before going it alone, says the Borders Railway was his main reason for setting up in here rather than Edinburgh.

Now living in Bowden with his two children Josephine and Paudraig and wife Toni-Jane, Tim says, five years on, the move was the right one.

“I identified that there weren’t really any strong planning and development companies in the Borders at the time,” he said.

“Rather than set up in Edinburgh I wanted to invest in the Borders.

“We wanted to set up somewhere near the railway, and the Island Street move three years ago gave us the perfect base with more of a front door.

“We do things organically, react to our growth as it happens and particularly enjoy working with landowners and families to guide them through the planning process to bring investment to the Borders.”