New £21.8m Kelso High School approved
Plans for a new £21.8 million secondary school for Kelso have been approved by councillors.
Scottish Borders Council was advised to approve the scheme on land off Angraflat Road with conditions which include details about landscaping, signage, drainage and sewerage issues and protection for wildlife.
The new school will replace the existing Kelso High School, which dates from the 1930s.
Concerns had been expressed by the local authority’s departments and agents working for Kelso Racecourse also lodged a “holding objection” to the scheme.
In a letter to the council’s planning department, Alex Sneddon of Transport Planning Ltd, said: “We act for Kelso Racecourse and are presently reviewing traffic and transport matters related to the proposed development of the new Kelso High School. We are presently exploring several issues with our clients related to the proposed application and we therefore submit this formal holding objection. We will be in touch again once we have concluded our review.”
Jim Knight, a landscape architect for the council, has called for more “woodland” planting along the north-west boundary of the site and a redesign of the grounds to the south-east, including moving car parking and the removal of an existing hedge, which he argues if left would create a “physical barrier and screen”.
Mr Knight states in his report: “This is a significant new public building and should address the town effectively, in terms of its setting, rather than being hidden behind a rather tatty hedge.”
Derek Inglis of the council’s roads planning services, added: “With regards to the Transport Assessment, it is disappointing that the report has not identified any off-site works to promote sustainable transport.
“Advisory cycle lanes along Angraflat Road and a part-time 20mph scheme in the vicinity of the school should be incorporated into the design.”
As a result of their concerns, Mr Fortheringham has said “suitably worded planning conditions” can adequately deal with these matters.