Council pull out of land bid

The council’s executive committee has decided that SBC should not bid for an area of land in Earlston that it has maintained for decades.

The Old Cauldie site had been earmarked for a play park, but was scuppered when a lottery grant bid was knocked back.

SBC had offered to bid for the Crown Estates’ land to ensure the project could go ahead, although it is understood that private parties were also preparing rival bids.

Maintenance of the front part of the Cauldie will now no longer be carried out by the council, but a right of access will remain for SBC to look after the rear part of the public park, which it does own.

An SBC spokesperson said: “Members decided that due to the collapse of the play park proposal, as a result of the campaign against the plan, it was not value for money to bid for the land, for which the Crown was seeking bids in excess of £25,000.

“The council also took into account that the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 allows the public to retain rights of access through the Crown land and to use it for recreational purposes that do not involve the use of motor vehicles.”

The council has offered to help Earlston Community Development Trust find an alternative site for their adventure play park scheme.