Newtown St Boswells auction mart revamp gets go-ahead

Members of Scottish Borders Council’s planning and building standards committee at a meeting on Monday (November 6) approved a major overhaul of the mart at Newtown St Boswells.

The proposal from the H&H group will create a “new central spine road” via a new roundabout on the A68, provide potential for 150 new homes, a new hotel, together with a rural retail business hub and educational campus. 

Councillors agreed planning permission in principle in 2021 but that application included land not owned by the applicants.

Now the newly approved application is set to be the biggest revamp of the facility since it was established in 1871.

Kelso councillor Simon Mountford, the committee chair, said: “I was part of the previous planning committee which approved the original application, which we did so very enthusiastically because this is clearly a transformative plan for Newtown St Boswells which will significantly enhance the village and add facilities which currently it doesn’t have and it will provide opportunities for employment and growth.

“I continue to welcome it because it hasn’t changed significantly or materially from the original application that was approved.”

Councillor Neil Richards, who represents Hawick and Denholm, raised the implications for any future extension of Borders Railway – which would pass through the site.

Members were informed that the route of the line is protected.

A report to the committee said: “This proposal remains a substantial development covering a large area of ground in relation to the existing village but will revitalise pivotal locations, such as the auction mart and village centre.

“The proposal seeks to provide a masterplan layout which would guide the detailed development of the site in general terms for different mixes of uses within different zones.

“It will allow for the retention and restoration of the auction mart facility and listed building whilst creating opportunities for the creation of an improved village centre.”