Two brothers from Melrose were celebrating today, Monday, January 17, after they were given the green light to relocate their agricultural machinery dealership.
Andrew and Garry Wight (pictured) are directors with A.B. Wight Engineering on the Charlesfield Industrial Estate at St Boswells.
The brothers have ambitious expansion plans that involve relocating the business to an adjoining 1.7 acre piece of land they had acquired.
But a planning bid submitted to Scottish Borders Council to transfer operations to the former Slaters Yard was originally refused because it was not in accordance with the council’s Local Development Plan.
It had been felt that the option of moving to a site within the Charlesfield Industrial Estate or to an alternative location within the central Borders had not been fully considered.
The brothers counter-argued that there was an operational need to move to their preferred site as they looked to expand the business, which was established in 2012.
And this morning members of Scottish Borders Council’s Local Review Body agreed to approve the application, against the recommendation of council planning officers.
It was a decision that will have huge implications for the future of the dealership, according to Garry Wight.
He said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. I do feel that today for our business it is a massive step forward. It’s going to put us right in front of everybody.
“The Local Review Body definitely made the right decision today and that’s after all the hard work of Murray Land and Buildings and the hard work we have put in to supply them with the evidence that they needed.
“We now hope to have the new premises built and operational this year. It’s a huge decision for us.”
Earlier at today’s meeting, Councillor Donald Moffat said: “This has proven to be an interesting application and we have spent a lot of time on it and I actually think we should overturn the officer’s recommendation on this and approve it because it can only be an economic benefit as far as I am concerned.
“It will be operating from a rural location, fair enough, but it’s a rural business.”
Councillor Neil Richards added: “We have looked at all the mitigating circumstances, tree boundaries and things like that, but the issue is whether there is space at Charlesfield itself and, to be honest, I don’t think there is, and I think the extension is quite logical.”