Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Place Making Approach

Presentation from John Curry, Service Director Assets & Infrastructure and James Lamb, Portfolio Manager.



3.1       Portfolio Manager, James Lamb, gave a slide presentation to provide an overview of the Place Making Approach.  The aim of this initiative was to facilitate a more joined-up, collaborative and participative approach to services, land and buildings, across all sectors within a place.  This should enable better outcomes for everyone and increased opportunities for people and communities to shape their own lives. The intention was to build on learning from the operation of the Community Assistance Hubs and Resilience Teams which had worked effectively during the Covid-19 pandemic.  The presentation slides set out the scope of the Place Making approach in terms of links with relevant strategies, reviews, programmes and frameworks which were operating in the Scottish Borders and South of Scotland.  Phase 1 of the programme, Preparation and Planning, had already started with initial awareness raising taking place in March and April through forums such as the Area Partnerships. Work would be carried out in June to shape the framework with Phase 2 taking place late summer to develop initial High Level Locality Place Briefs through workshops and identification of priorities and needs.  Phase 3 in the Autumn would focus on agreeing and developing Place Programme workstreams with delivery being started in Phase 4 at the end of the year and on into 2022.  Mr Lamb was looking for views and invited feedback which could be sent to him via the email address


3.2       Councillor Aitchison referred to the challenge of identifying and quantifying the sums of money involved in different strategies and asked how this would be rationalised. Mr Lamb emphasised that Area Partnerships would have a role in prioritising projects. Community Council representative Jenny Mushlin advised that Stow Community Trust for Stow and Fountainhall had funding for a community development worker who was currently undertaking a place assessment.  She asked how this would fit into the overall project.  Mr Lamb believed this would put the area in a good place to feed into the process.  He confirmed that communities who already had plans in place should bring these to Area Partnership meetings to amalgamate towards the development of high level locality place briefs. He also confirmed that the third sector would be very much involved in the process.



3.3       As an addition to the agenda, the Chairman introduced Project Manager, Steven Renwick and Architects from the Project Design team to give an update on the Galashiels Community Campus project. Mr Renwick explained that he and his colleagues were in attendance to raise awareness of the launch of a consultation exercise which had recently gone live as the design of the campus was progressing. Due to Covid-19 restrictions it was not possible to carry out face to face consultation in the usual way.  Instead, the public was encouraged to visit the Scottish Borders Council website and to contribute to the on-line consultation. The launch of the consultation exercise would be followed up with MS Teams based meetings with various groups in the town, some of these leading to follow-on sessions during the remaining part of March and into April.  Following on from this, in May, there would be a formal and mandatory Education consultation.  In terms of obtaining planning consent, as the proposed development represented a major application there would be 2 planning stages.  A 12 week Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) would be followed by a full planning application later in the year.  The public would be able to send in representations as part of this planning process. Design would progress in tandem with the statutory processes and the project team were looking at site commencement in Autumn 2022 with early 2025 being the target date to open to public and pupils.  Mr Renwick added that he did not intend to present all the design information at the meeting as all this material could be found on the website.  However he was happy to answer any questions from anyone who had looked at that material and would like more information at this stage.


3.4       Mr Renwick confirmed that the consultation did include space at the end to add comments.  He thanked the community for what had already been a good response to the consultation with 700 visits to the site and 21 representations within the first week.  In response to a question about what was being offered at the proposed campus in terms of community benefit, Mr Renwick explained that the swimming pool would be replaced with a 6-lane 25 metre community swimming pool, there would be a hydrotherapy facility, games hall, fitness suite, dance studio, gymnasium, 2G hockey pitch, 3G combined rugby/football pitch, stand-alone grass pitch and 6-lane athletics track. External tennis courts would be provided to ensure continuity of club sport. In answer to a question about the possibility of indoor tennis facilities, Mr Renwick advised there were ongoing discussions with Live Borders but there was no firm position on that at present. The development did encroach upon part of Scott Park but landscaping proposals around the school would enhance community access to the area and the design for a replacement playpark was currently being explored. With regard to car park facilities, Mr Renwick explained that once the new swimming pool was open the ground occupied by the existing pool would be used for bus drop-off and car parking.  There were also plans to augment the existing path network in Scott Park to give enhanced pedestrian access to the facility. In recognition of a focus in social media about part of Scott Park disappearing it was noted that there would be additional space made available around the school for public access and that the re-development of the park would be locked into planning conditions.  Although this was the preferred design option of all those considered the importance of the public taking part in the consultation was stressed, as there were still unknowns.  It was vital to get the design right and constructive suggestions would be taken on board. In further discussion, the project, which represented a huge investment for the Council, was recognised as a fantastic opportunity, for the young people and community of Galashiels, in providing a new school and wide-ranging community facility. In conclusion the representatives from the project team advised that they would be happy to return to future meetings to provide an update at various stages and to answer questions.




Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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