Kelso school plans revealed

PLANS for a new high school and housing in Kelso go on show for public consultation in the town this afternoon, writes Sally Gillespie.

Planning consultants Clarendon Planning and Development declined to reveal more details than reported in last week’s Southern ahead of the open afternoon.

But the company’s Antony Duthie moved to quash local speculation that the golf course or ground near the allotments would be affected.

Lord Kerr of Ferniehirst, Jedburgh, and the Duke of Roxburghe at Floors Castle, Kelso, jointly own 23 hectares – 57 acres – on the north-western outskirts of Kelso, between the town’s racecourse and the A6089 Edinburgh road.

They hope to sell 10 acres of it to Scottish Borders Council for a new £14.8million high school and build houses and a care home on the rest.

Currently the town’s racecourse uses the field to the eastern end of the proposed development site for car parking and there were fears racegoers’ vehicles could be relocated up a slope to beside the town’s allotments or to part of the town’s neighbouring golf course.

But Mr Duthie told TheSouthern: “I can categorically confirm that, if the new school is to be located on our clients’ land, there is no intention whatsoever to relocate the racecourse car parking either to the golf course or anywhere near to the allotments.

“If, as matters evolve, there is any impact on the positioning of the parking, I stress that this will be contained wholly within the redline boundary (of the proposed site) submitted with the Proposal of Application Notice (PAN). The community can be assured that no works can take place outwith this defined boundary.

“Thursday’s exhibition will clarify this and allay any such concerns offering up various development options all contained within the PAN boundary. This will also be an opportunity to formally record community aspirations, before proposals are progressed, and is the principal purpose of the event.”

The land is currently zoned for housing under the Local Plan and the lairds plan an initial 120 private and affordable homes, plus a residential care home, and to set aside recreational ground and open space.

Representatives from Clarendon and architects Aitken Turnbull will be at the open afternoon from 3pm until 8pm at the Ednam House Hotel to gather public comment.