Background

Scottish Borders Council currently owns the site and has, over the last 10 years or so, established outline proposals as to how the site could be redeveloped.  The Council’s Burgh Yard Planning Brief (2011), sets out guidance in relation to re-development of the site and seeks to:

  • Identify the development opportunity and the main constraints on site;
  • Identify land use options that can be accommodated
  • Establish spatial principles for development;
  • Provide an outline framework for future redevelopment, in terms of urban design principles; and
  • Identify anticipated requirements for development contributions.
2b Local Planning Map

More recently in 2018 the Council prepared the Galashiels Masterplan Regeneration Framework.  This identified a number of sites for redevelopment or enhancement throughout the town centre, including this site at Former Burgh Yard.  The Council’s Masterplan indicates that the site could be developed for a hotel use.  Guidance is provided on consistent approaches to measures such as built form, infrastructure provision and hard and soft landscaping throughout the town centre.

Within the current Local Development Plan the site is allocated for redevelopment under reference zCR2 – Huddersfield Street/Hill Street. It is well suited to accommodate a range of commercial business and residential uses.

Location

The site is the land comprising of the former Burgh Yard at Braw Lads Brae, Galashiels comprising of just over 1 hectare of previously developed land.  It has remained vacant since its previous use as a petrol service station, workshops and yard.  It is a Council priority for redevelopment and is allocated for redevelopment in the current Local Development Plan.

The site is situated in a mixed use residential and commercial area close to the town centre and the Gala Water retail park.  It is situated within 650m walking distance from the modern transport interchange which is used by over 3000 passengers daily.  The new Braw Lads’ Brae provides a key transport link which acts as part of the Inner Relief Road.  Vehicular access to the site is gained via Hill Street, which in turn links with both Huddersfield Street and Albert Place.

3-Aerial-View-of-Site

Galashiels is best known for its textile industry and Reivers heritage and is still host to Heriot Watt University’s School of Textiles and Design. This vibrant image of Bank Street in Galashiels captures the richness of the Town’s history. The jaunty line of multi-coloured shop awnings reflects the busy market town that was, and is, Galashiels. The bright fabrics making reference to the textile heritage of the town.

The design intent is to make use of this weaving heritage through the use of colour, texture and variation in building forms creating a lively street front and new focal point to the town.

24 Galashiels Bank St Canopies
25 weaving spools

Historical Context / 1900’s Site Plan

During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the site housed a mill, with the central section of the site remaining open and undeveloped.

Historical Context / 1950’s Site Plan

By the 1950’s the Mill was developed and extended further into the cen­tre of the site. The site remained as a mill until after the turn of the 20th century where it now houses industrial buildings to the sites perimeter.

Historical Context / 20th Century Site Plan

The current aerial view of the site shows the updated road layout with Braw Lads Brae cutting through the middle of the site. Braw Lads Brae connects the north east of Galashiels to the south west. Recent development on site has left the centre as a brownfield site, with industrial buildings surrounding the Huddersfield and Hill Street edges.

1858
1858
1899
1899
1930
1930
Present
Present

Site Assessment

As the Council has allocated the land for redevelopment in the Local Development Plan it is considered that, in principle, the site can be developed and provide a contribution towards meeting tourism, visitor and residential demand within Galashiels.

The site is subject to a number of physical constraints and opportunities which will inform the development of the design and layout as well as phasing.

  • Existing road pattern and access points.
  • Topography and gradients influencing build platforms.
  • Townscape Setting / Views both from and into the site.
  • Potential of localised contamination.
  • Primary Road
  • Site Access Point
  • Residential Parking
  • Care Home Parking

The site is bisected close to the north western boundary by Braw Lads’ Brae and is locat­ed within walking distance from the Transport Interchange and the new Borders Railway line, which connects Galashiels to Edinburgh. The Transport Interchange incorporates a new bus station with good facilities for bus and rail passengers. The site is bounded to the north by Huddersfield Street and Paton Street and to the east by Hill Street, and Braw Lads’ Brae, a new section of the A7 that forms part of the Galashiels Inner Relief Road.

Detailed technical assessments of the site are being undertaken to further inform the emerging proposals.  Such assessments and reports will support the planning application and will include the following technical and design assessments:

  • Topographical Survey
  • Transport Assessment
  • Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment
  • Ecological Survey
  • Tree Survey
  • Drainage Assessment
  • Noise Assessment

It is expected that the site will have no overriding constraints that would preclude development or its delivery in the short to medium term.

Site Map Showing Cross Section Line
Site Map Showing Cross Section Line
Cross Section Across Site
Cross Section Across Site
View of Braw Lads Brae Site
View of Braw Lads Brae Site
View of Preston Street Site
View of Preston Street Site
View Looking Towards Albert Place Site
View Looking Towards Albert Place Site
View Down Alber Place
View Down Alber Place

Planning Policy

Scottish Borders Council Local Development Plan (2016) presents planning policy and guidance that needs to be taken into consideration on this development project.  Planning policy is split into 5 key themes:

  • Placemaking and Design
  • Economic Development
  • Housing Development
  • Environmental Promotion and Protection
  • Infrastructure and Standards

Of particular relevance to this project is the fact that the site is already allocated for redevelopment and is subject to an approved development brief.  Whilst this provides the site with an element of redevelopment approval any development proposals that come forward must still comply with each relevant planning policy within the key themes above.

In this case it is considered that the following policies will be of particular relevance.

Some of the identified policies are supported by supplementary guidance and the docu­ments related to such will also be important to review and take reference from.

Futurity Ventures has been particularly keen to ensure that the vision and emerging pro­posals for the site reflect other economic development and regeneration projects being taken forward by the Council, South of Scotland Enterprise and local organisations. Implementa­tion of this development will complement initiatives being proposed for Galashiels Town Centre and the Central Borders.

Placemaking and Design

PMD 1 – Sustainability

PMD2 – Quality Standards

PMD3 – Land Use Allocations

Economic Development

ED3 – Town Centres and Shopping Development

Housing Development

HD1 – Affordable and Special Needs Housing

HD3 – Protection of Residential Amenity

HD5 – Care and Retirement Homes

Environmental Promotion and Protection

EP8 – Archaeology

EP12 – Green Networks

EP13 – Trees, Woodland and Hedgerows

EP15 – The Water Environment

Infrastructure and Standards

IS2 and IS3 – Developer Contributions

IS6 – Road Adoption Standards

IS7 – Parking Provision and Standards

IS9 – Wastewater Treatment Standards and Sustainable Urban Drainage

IS13 – Contaminated Land

Vision and Development Concept

Plans and illustrations on this consultation website give an indication of the development currently being considered at Former Burgh Yard.  Development will be accessible, and well-integrated with the existing town providing a logical and well-planned infill to Galashiels.  A sensitive site such as this demands a high quality of new design which will adopt appropriate densities and massing, a people friendly approach to streets and spaces, and care in the details of materials and colours.

Scottish Planning Policy advocates placemaking and sustainable economic development.  Proposals at this site will have particular emphasis on the qualities of successful places, as set out in the Scottish Government’s Creating Places policy statement.  The six qualities of successful place will be part of the driving principles for the development:

Distinctive

Safe and pleasant

Easy to get to and move around

Welcoming

Adaptable

Resource efficient

A finalised site layout will be developed following consultations, surveys, design and technical studies, with the intention of providing a development that follows these design principles, in compliance with the agreed design brief.

  • Strong urban form to create set back built frontage to Braw Lads’ Brae.
  • Strong civic presence and quality addition to the townscape.
  • Key corner features creating localised focal points for public realm and access.
  • Existing building line on Hill Street to be respected.
  • Scale and massing 3-4 storeys according to topography.
  • Active frontages to Braw Lads’ Brae.
  • Improved pedestrian accessibility allowing permeability and interaction.
  • Dedicated access and parking for individual uses recognising the town centre location.
  • A mix of commercial and residential uses in line with the Design Brief and market demand for offices restaurants and retail provision.
  • Hard and soft landscaping enhancements -edge and boundary treatment
  • Maintenance of amenity for existing residents and integration with the Croft Street masterplan
  • Sustainable design including low carbon design in line with the LDP / Design Brief.

The ambition is to create a high-quality place that integrates positively with the area, all of which responding to the key characteristics of the site.

26 Key for site photo
26b View Across Site

Emerging Proposals

Futurity Ventures have undertaken market testing and feasibility assessment in relation to key uses proposed on the site. They believe that market conditions are now conducive to re-development and there is confidence that demand exists to attract developers on a joint venture basis with the Council.

The uses being proposed are illustrated here and comprise:

  • Mixed-use gateway building (3 storey)
  • 53 bed Hotel (4 storey)
  • 60 bed care home (3 storey)
  • 37 apartments / flats (3- 5 storey)
  • 6 affordable apartments / flats (3 storey)

At present end users are being identified and market testing has commenced with a view to attracting local and national operators who may wish to take a stake in the site.

Site Map with Views Plotted

Aerial Views and 3D Renders

Click to view the images to progress through the visuals. The aerial view denotes the angle of viewing of the following 3D digital sketches.

Timescales and Delivery

Delivery and implementation timescales will clearly be influenced by market conditions and dependent on consent timescales. Marketing of the site will be concluded once that planning consent has been granted.

Should an application be submitted, the timeline for this and subsequent tasks is expected to be broadly as follows:

  • Submission of detailed planning application – August 2022
  • Determination by Scottish Borders Council – February 2023
  • Discharge planning conditions and legal agreements – June 2023
  • Site commencement – November 2023
  • Site completion – September 2025
37 Timeline graphic

Next Steps, Views and Comments

Thank you for visiting this online exhibition, your comments on the development proposals are important and will influence the next stages of the design and planning process. We hope that you can support this development by Futurity Ventures Limited which will create a vibrant new quarter for Galashiels town centre.

Comments received at this consultation stage do not constitute formal representations. Should a planning application be submitted, there will be the opportunity to comment on submitted proposals and make formal representations to Scottish Borders Council.

The project team will consider all comments made during this consultation exercise and as proposals develop going forward. A report will be prepared on this consultation exercise (called a Pre-Application Consultation Report or ‘PAC’ report) which will be provided to the Council as part of the submission of any planning application.

We welcome questions on this proposed development, which will be submitted automatically via email to our consultants.  Other than on the day of live interaction sessions (29th June 2022 between 6pm and 8pm) we will aim to reply to your question within 5 working days.

As part of the consultation exercise and recording the general sentiment towards the proposed development, we welcome feedback in relation to relevant planning matters on the proposed layout and plans that the developer has for the land. We ask that comments are submitted through the online Feedback Questionnaire or via email by 20th July 2022.

Ask A Question

We welcome questions on the proposed development, which will be submitted via email to our project team.  All questions will receive a response and our consultants will also be available to “live chat” on this website on 29th June from 6pm-8pm.

Ask a Question

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Feedback Questionnaire

We would welcome your feedback in relation to the proposals and seek any comments you may have on the proposals.

We would seek for all comments to be submitted by 20th July 2022.

As noted above, any comments made are not being submitted to Scottish Borders Council.  When the planning application is submitted, there will be an opportunity to submit formal representations to Scottish Borders Council for their consideration.

Your feedback will be reviewed by Futurity Ventures and may be reused in a Pre-Application Consultation Report and submitted to Scottish Borders Council. Although any comments made to this consultation process may form part of a future planning application submission document, they will not be considered by Scottish Borders Council as a formal representation to any future planning application. All members of the public and local stakeholders will have the opportunity to make formal representation once a planning application has been submitted.