Eyesore could become flats

Bristol Mill in Galashiels, which is to be refurbished into student-type flats
Bristol Mill in Galashiels, which is to be refurbished into student-type flats

Plans have been revealed to build 25 flats at the site of a former Victorian spinning mill in Galashiels.

Pia Developments, of Penicuik, Midlothian, hopes to secure planning consents for the flats at the former Bristol Mill building in Magdala Terrace.

Harry Scott, councillor for Galashiels and district.

Harry Scott, councillor for Galashiels and district.

The proposed building would contain a mix of two and three-bedroom properties with open-plan kitchen and living rooms as well as 35 on-site parking spaces.

Construction work would also include the replacement of the roof, to be made of Welsh slate.

The category-B listed building was constructed in 1885 by Roberts, Dobson and Company and had numerous owners before closing its doors in 1998.

There have been numerous plans for the site previously, and back in 2012, Scottish Borders Council granted permission for the development of 16 flats for students at the town’s Heriot-Watt University campus.

Galashiels councillor Harry Scott welcomed these latest proposals.

He told the Southern: “The present building has been something of an eyesore in Galashiels for many years and, for me, blights an otherwise well-maintained residential area of the town.

“I believe that many schemes put forward for improvement in the past have fallen through.

“If this development provides much-needed good-quality housing stock and improves greatly the aesthetics of the area, then it is to be welcomed.”

However, the planning permission application, received by the council last Thursday, has triggered a neighbour’s comment voicing concerns over the level of parking at the site.

Stuart Allan, who owns a property opposite the site in Bristol Terrace, said: “The area is already under-served for parking, and the plans seem to remove the three or four spaces on Buckholm Mill Brae that residents of Bristol Terrace currently rely on.

“Many of the parking spaces in the proposed plan are private.

“While I would be pleased to see the site converted to residential use, I’m concerned that the proposed development could exacerbate current problems with parking in the area.”

The application is also for the removal of outbuildings to accommodate the parking spaces.

According to the buildings at risk list, Bristol Mill is among the best surviving mills in Galashiels.