Consent sought to turn tailor’s shop into house

Fifty-Five Tailors at 55 Northgate in Peebles.
Fifty-Five Tailors at 55 Northgate in Peebles.

Peebles town centre faces losing another shopfront.

The owner of 55 Northgate has lodged an application with Scottish Borders Council to convert the shop there, currently occupied by Fifty Five Tailors, into a residential property.

David Pye, of Glen Crescent, Peebles, has applied to convert the soon-to-be property “due to a decline in demand for this and similar types of use in this location”.

The proposed residential property would feature two bedrooms at the front of the home, either side of the current entrance, and a bathroom in the basement.

The plight of town centres in the Borders was recently the subject of an extensive retail survey conducted by the council.

It found that a decline in footfall has led to a big increase in the number of vacant shops, and called on the local authority to relax the restrictions on planning permission for retail premises.

In Peebles, the report found that footfall has fallen by around 18% over the last decade, and as a consequence around 8% of shops in the town currently sit empty.

In an attempt to revive the region’s high streets, the report recommended implementing a retail pilot scheme relaxing restrictions on the types of businesses that can operate in Galashiels and Hawick town centres.

Following a one-year pilot project, and depending on the level of its success, the intention is to roll out a similar policy to other towns in the Borders, including Peebles.