Selkirk church conversion plan gets blessing of council

A bid to convert a former Selkirk church into a family home has been given the blessing of council planners.
The former congregational church in Scott's Place in Selkirk.The former congregational church in Scott's Place in Selkirk.
The former congregational church in Scott's Place in Selkirk.

Applicant Adam Elder can now go ahead with plans to turn the former congregational church, a 19th century listed building at the corner of Scott’s Place and Dovecot Park, into a house.

The church, closed in December 2017, retains all its original period features, including timber doors, pulpit, pews and stained-glass windows.

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Mr Elder, one of the directors of the Whynot? retail hub in Channel Street in Galashiels, submitted applications to change the use of the former church and for external and internal alterations.

Those external alterations include installation of five rooflights, replacement of two existing windows with double-glazed casement windows and provision of a wood-burning flue.

Internal alterations planned include the fitting of a round staircase for a mezzanine floor at the south east end of the building for use as a bedroom.

The ground floor would consist of a lounge and dining area, kitchen, bathroom and utility room.

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In his report, Scottish Borders Council planning officer Brett Taylor says: “The proposed alterations are of an appropriate scale, character and appearance and would not be out of keeping with the character of the conservation area.

“I consider the proposal not only will safeguard a listed building but will maintain and enhance the vitality and viability of the surrounding area.

“The proposed new internal staircase and mezzanine floor platform to facilitate a sleeping area will be sensitively designed and will avoid unnecessary subdivision of the building.

“The council’s archaeology officer, Chris Bowles, welcomes the approach to convert the church into habitable space to ensure its survival.

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“That said, alterations will remove and obscure elements of the church’s spaces, and change the internal character of the building.

“To mitigate this impact, I recommend a historic building record is required prior to conversion to document the current state of the structure.”