Hawick is in line to see a new pub open before Christmas now approval has been granted for the conversion of a former rugby club headquarters.
An application was submitted earlier this year to Scottish Borders Council for change of use of the ground floor at the old Hawick YM rugby club premises in Orrock Place into a pub.
That bid has now been accepted following a recommendation of approval from Julie Hayward, the council’s lead planning officer.
The move follows the club becoming surplus to requirements after Hawick YM merged with Hawick RFC last year.
The Redskins’ players, coaches, committee and members all crossed over to the Mansfield Park side in one of the biggest shake-ups of the structure of rugby in the town ever seen.
The conversion of the club premises into a pub is not without precedent, though.
The building was actually used as a pub until the rugby club took it over a decade ago.
In her report, Ms Hayward found that no alterations would be needed to change the building into a pub and that the conversion would benefit the town, thanks to the creation of several part-time jobs.
She added: “The premises was the Hawick YM RFC clubhouse, but is now vacant and is on the ground floor of a three-storey building situated within the Hawick conservation area. The proposal is to convert the ground floor of the property from a clubhouse to a public house. Although the property was a public house previously, the planning history for the site indicates that it has been used by the rugby club for over 10 years.”
The application was submitted by Mark Deans, of Weensland Road in Hawick.
In his application, he says: “I believe the building was used as a pub from when it was first built until the YM rugby club changed its usage.
“It was owned by my wife’s family, WBT Smith and Sons, from the 1950s for over 20 years.
“I don’t want to make any changes to the building other than decoration inside and painting the front grey, which is sympathetic to the surroundings and other buildings in the area. I would like to erect a new sign in the same position as the previous sign.
“By changing the use, part-time jobs will be created and the property will hopefully be attractive and a benefit to the town.”