WORK was scheduled to start on the long-awaited demolition of 31 High Street in Jedburgh at the beginning of this week.
A Glasgow firm is the contractor which submitted the successful tender bid for the demolition job, with Scottish Borders Council this week, confirming that the £153,713.90 contract had been awarded to JCJ (Demolition & Construction).
Three tenders were submitted for the work, which is for the safe demolition of the B-listed building and all associated fabric repairs to the exposed gables of the remaining buildings.
It was just a few weeks ago that TheSouthern reported news that a successful tenderer had been selected for the job, but the firm’s identity or the start date for the work were not revealed at that stage.
However, local councillor, Sandy Scott (Con), says work was due to start at the beginning of this week.
“The High Street has now been made one-way for the next 16 weeks of the contract. It’s quite a long time for disruption, but everyone is delighted that work has finally commenced on the demolition,” he told TheSouthern.
Mr Scott said there was some concern about the impact on the adjacent shops: “There has been a worry the two shops at the side could fall into the open gap once 31 High Street is flattened, but I’m sure that will all have been taken into consideration.”
The property at 31 High Street was compulsorily purchased by the local authority after the premises, formerly an electrical shop and café, had been left in a state of decay for many years. Almost 250 signatures were gathered on a petition in September, calling on SBC to press ahead with the demolition process after a number of delays and setbacks.
The petition had been triggered by news of yet another delay, stemming from the lowest of the three tender bids still being more than 80 per cent above the allocated budget provision.
However, discussions between SBC’s financial staff and council leader, David Parker (Leaderdale and Melrose, Ind), led to additional funding being secured.
The local authority had previously promised to demolish the shop before the town’s Callant’s Festival in July, then after the festival, and then by October, leading to some labelling the saga a “farce”.
A Facebook campaign was set up, calling for the demolition of what is described as “the embarrassment” that was 31 High Street Jedburgh, and which attracted several hundred “likes” within a short period.