Hammer time: Auction mart plans get the go-ahead

Revised plans for a multi-million pound redevelopment of a historic Borders auction mart have been approved.

The proposals by the H&H group would create a "new town centre" for Newtown St Boswells.

Councillors backed the scheme in 2021 but it has been revised to exclude third-party land in order to proceed.

A report described it as an "important and pivotal development" that could make a "positive contribution" to the town.

The scheme has been described as the "single biggest investment" in the site in its history, which goes back to 1871.

Simon Mountford, who chairs Scottish Borders Council's planning committee, said it was "clearly a transformative plan" for Newtown St Boswells.

He said it could "significantly enhance the village" as well as "provide opportunities for employment and growth".

Councillors previously granted planning permission in principle for the development in 2021 but the revised bid has removed land owned by third parties.

"I continue to welcome it because it hasn't changed significantly or materially from the original application that was approved," said Mr Mountford.

Concerns were raised about the impact on any extension of the Borders Railway which would pass through the site but councillors were told that route was protected.

The redevelopment was approved with conditions attached to safeguard the landscape, ecology and cultural heritage of the area.