Souters told to be prepared for town centre delays

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Souters have been warned of possible traffic tailbacks in the centre of town from the middle of next week as preparations are put in place for the renovation of the Fleece Hotel’s exterior.

Selkirkshire councillor Gordon Edgar said: “Traffic lights will be in place on the A7 at the Fleece corner from Wednesday and scaffolding will be put in place by the end of the week, for the work starting the following Monday.

“It’s fair to say that there will be some delays.”

Extensive work is being done to both the front and side elevations of the historic hotel, the planning permission for which was approved by Scottish Borders Council in January.

The plans will see two new double-glazed doors being placed onto the building’s front on the Market Place.

Currently the only entrance to the lounge is through a side door via a narrow pavement on Ettrick Terrace, which is to be turned into a window under the proposals.

Councillor Ian King, who is Selkirk Community Council’s planning spokesperson, praised the project when it came up for consideration last year.

He said: “It is a non-contentious proposal and is very sensible for the corner of Market Place and the closure of the side door may be very useful.”

“I don’t think there’s anything to be concerned about.”

He added: “We should be happy to see improvements put in place.”

The 19th century built pub has previously applied for a new entrance, only to be knocked back in 2004.

Owner Tracey Ward later told The Wee Paper: “The proposal is in the interest of safety for our customers entering the restaurant as we feel it is a much safer entrance route due to the narrowness of the pavement on Ettrick Terrace.

“Apart from the fact that many of our customers in the restaurant are elderly, and also taking into account previous history on this busy corner, we feel that it would be in the interest of everyone concerned if the entrance was placed on the much wider pavement of Market Place.”

The plan has been designed by Stuart Davidson Architecture.