Stow wall is in a legal ‘no man’s land’

The crumbling lay-by wall at the centre of a row in Stow sits in a legal ‘no man’s land’, it has emerged.

The wall, situated near to the historic ‘Packhorse Bridge’ across the Gala Water at the southern entrance to the village, is next to a lay-by on the busy A7.

Recent efforts to stop large lorries pulling into the lay-by and possibly damaging the wall further saw flower planters installed.

But while some community councillors want something done, Scottish Borders Council appears to have no responsibility for the wall.

Local Scottish Borders Council member Sandy Aitchison says when Stow became part of Selkirkshire followed by the changes to local government, this area seems not to have been transferred in the asset list and therefore appears not to belong to anyone.

“What is not in question is that the wall is in a very poor state. SBC declares it does not own it and the adjacent land owner has no responsibility for the wall,” he said.

“The council is monitoring wall movement and it is definitely moving, but only in millimetres. The point at issue here is, when it will have move sufficiently to actually fall over.

“This lay-by should be a tourist asset to the village and it is sad to see the entrance to the village blighted by this awful looking wall.”

Community councillor Alastair Riddel has repeatedly called for urgent action, believing it is only a matter of time before the wall collapses: “A lot of people stop there for the view, but that wall is moving all the time and something needs done soon.

“It’s sheer stupidity that nothing is being done because if that wall collapses, it could be very dangerous and the costs involved horrendous.”