Old Kelso school conversion proposed

Published
image copyrightScottish Borders Council
image captionStudents moved out of the old school site last year

An old school building in the Borders could be turned into homes for the vulnerable and elderly.

The proposals by M&J Ballantyne would see the former Kelso High School - which is B-listed and dates back to 1936 - turned into extra care housing.

The building was vacated in October last year and a new secondary opened in the town.

Members of the public are being offered the chance to view the plans at the former school on 22 November.

M&J Ballantyne, who are in the process of purchasing the site, propose to retain the original building and refurbish it to provide extra care housing for Eildon Housing Association.

image copyrightScottish Borders Council
image captionPupils moved into a brand new school in the town in November 2017

Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council's executive member for business and economic development, said: "I am delighted that a sale is being progressed for this important Kelso town centre site with a local building firm with a reputation for creating high quality developments.

"If the planning application is approved, it will provide a host of benefits to the local community.

"It will provide extra care and private housing for local people, bring a currently disused site back into use, while also retaining an important listed building."

'Key project'

Michael Ballantyne, managing director of M&J Ballantyne, said the project would involve the "retention and transformation" of the school.

"Our proposals would provide extra care and private housing which will not only safeguard many construction jobs but will also have a wider economic benefit," he said.

John Duncan, director of property assets at Eildon Housing, said: "Eildon is pleased to be one of the partners in this project which would bring the former Kelso High School site back into productive use by providing more extra care housing.

"This is another key project in our programme which will deliver 750 much-needed new homes across the Scottish Borders by 2021."

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