A LONG-STANDING blot on Jedburgh’s built landscape is to be removed after Scottish Borders Council was granted a compulsory purchase order (CPO) by Scottish ministers to acquire a former retail property at 31 High Street, writes Andrew Keddie.
The way is now clear for the dangerous building, known locally as “Bert’s shop”, to be demolished and the site cleared to make way for affordable housing.
“This is brilliant news,” said local councillor Jim Brown (SNP) who revealed that ridding the town of the eyesore was one of the reasons he had decided to stand for election in 2007.
Until 2002, the C-listed building hosted two shops – an electrical outlet run by the late Bert Dalgleish and the Coffee Pot cafe. Since then, the fabric has deteriorated badly, forcing the council to carry out structural stabilisation to prevent water infiltration and the spread of dry and wet rot.
In June, SBC’s planning committee agreed the now-scaffolded building, hidden by a temporary facade, could be demolished.
The cost of clearing the site, estimated at £75,000, is likely to be met by the local authority, although attempts will be made to recover this from the owners.
“This may prove problematic,” admitted Mr Brown this week. “The main thing is we are now, after nearly a decade, in a position for the demolition to begin ... we are at last reaching the final stages of this saga.”