Calls have gone out for lessons to be learned from the apparent impending demise of a historic Jedburgh building.
Jedburgh residents believe more intervention is needed if it is to save further buildings falling into the same state of disrepair as the one currently facing demolition in the square.
The baronial tenement building, built in the 1860s by Glasgow firm Clarke and Bell, sits in the heart of the town’s conservation area but could be bulldozed if an application going before planning chiefs in the coming weeks is given the go-ahead.
Jedburgh councillor Jim Brown told last week’s community council meeting: “What’s happened here is folk have not been maintaining their properties for a period of time.
“It can be expensive. Simple things like getting your gutters cleaned, when up a height, are more expensive nowadays, so it’s just not happening.
“The Scottish Government has noticed this, and that’s why were are the third town in the Borders to get money from the Scottish Government from the conservation area regeneration scheme to make sure that the properties that are in a dangerous state, especially within the conservation area, are looked after.
“With this building, the council’s responsibility was to make it safe.
“The second engineer survey didn’t fall into place with the first and a decision had to be made at council level.
“The executive looked at the costings and it made sense at that point that we had to demolish the building.
“I made it clear then that there was no way we would have a repeat of what happened at Bert’s Shop.
“There was no way we were going to have a gap site right in the main centre of the square.”
The previous demolition site referred to, formerly Bert Dalgleish’s shop at 31 High Street, has been a gap site since 2012, when it was demolished after a similar story of neglect. Plans were approved earlier this year for seven flats there.
Community councillor John Taylor alluded to the same site, adding: “I am very critical of the council, but I must say this is not all their doing.
“I do hope lessons are learned from this, because that’s twice this has happened on the High Street, and we cannot allow it to happen again.
“The council are the ones who are taking the rates. They have to somehow figure out what buildings are at risk and step in to get the owners to take responsibly.”
Georgiana Craster, referring to the building currently under threat in the square, added: “The owners have not looked after their property.
“They have shrugged their shoulders of it and left it to the council to sort.
“The guilt here stands with the owners.”