Ministers relegate bypass plan in strategy document

Michelle Ballantyne
Michelle Ballantyne

A BYPASS for Selkirk has been labelled a “long-term aspiration” by Scottish Government ministers – but it does not have their support.

The bypass suggestion had been included in a strategic planning document put together by Scottish Borders Council and neighbouring authorities in Edinburgh and south-east Scotland.

However, although ministers approved the SESplan blueprint last month, they have amended it.

Instead of Selkirk bypass simply being listed alongside improvements to the A7, the final version will read that the bypass is a “long-term aspiration which does not have Government support”.

The plan also covers proposed developments along the A7 and A68 “corridors”.

Speaking at a meeting of Selkirk Community Council on Monday, SBC councillor Michelle Ballantyne said: “We are becoming a ‘corridor of Edinburgh’, as the Borders is described in the SESplan report. That is not why I came to the Borders.”

Discussing centralisation of some decisions and services, Mrs Ballantyne said: “Some of the things (decisions by government) we can’t do anything about, but we need to plan and mitigate for them. We are being steamrollered.”

Iain King, community council planning spokesman, agreed, adding: “Our voice is not being heard.”