New book examines planning in the Borders

A new book shows how town and country planning in the Borders was transformed in the post-war decades to become a beacon for rural regeneration and development policy.
Douglas Hope and his new book on planning in the Scottish Borders.Douglas Hope and his new book on planning in the Scottish Borders.
Douglas Hope and his new book on planning in the Scottish Borders.

Author Douglas G Hope, who was Depute Director of Planning and Development with Borders

Regional Council in the 1980s and 1990s, examines how planning was transformed from a

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fringe activity in local government to become a central tool in meeting the challenge of rural

depopulation and sustainability amidst social, political and economic upheaval.

The book compares and contrasts the different ways in which the four counties, Peeblesshire,

Selkirkshire, Roxburghshire and Berwickshire, attempted to deal with the decline in the regions

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traditional industries, woven textiles and agriculture, and the loss of population since 1891. It

explores the origins of the Tweedbank development, the plan for a controversial new

settlement at Newtown St. Boswells and the closure of the Waverley line. It explains how

planning and economic development became inexorably linked in an effort to stem


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The book describes how, in partnership with a range of organisations, the Borders Regional

Council, established in 1975, met the challenges of the 1980s and 1990s and secured investment

and implemented proposals across the whole spectrum of development planning. The book

details how environmental issues came to the fore and, with the reorganisation of local

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government in 1996 and the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 looming, examines

the role of the Planning and Development Department in preparing for the challenges of the

twenty-first century.

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