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31 March 2021

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Border Town’s Regeneration Plans Approved

Cutting-edge development plans from H&H Group for Newtown St Boswells Auction Mart Site & Town Centre Development approved by Scottish Borders Council.

Earlier today, a significant milestone has been reached for the Scottish Borders market town of Newtown St Boswells. The much-anticipated Planning Approval for the development of the Newtown St Boswells Auction Mart has been granted by Scottish Borders Council. Since 1871 Newtown St Boswells has grown around its mart and now, 150 years later, the mart site will continue to be integral to the ongoing prosperity of the town. The Mart remains at the centre of this development and instead of coming through the town, it is the intention that all mart traffic will access directly from the A68.

Today’s approval is the first step on the ladder of this long-term development programme for H&H’s holdings, whose aim is to improve and enhance on the current facilities in the town and to create a busy town centre, a modern livestock auction mart for the Borders and a rural hub for the surrounding communities.

This is not a brand-new initiative, the town requires new housing stock, ideally in the more affordable category and the mart land has been earmarked for development for almost 15 years.

During the consultation process, the plans which use underutilised mart land to create a new town centre, featuring retail and leisure facilities, as well as a much-needed residential development of mixed and affordable housing and apartments were met with considerable approval from local people. The Newtown St Boswells Auction Mart is both vital and integral to the hub, which will  provide rural business meeting suites to capitalise on the location and provide a centrepiece for business in the Borders for the future.

Commenting on the approval, Richard Rankin, CEO of H&H Group PLC, said: “This is a significant milestone, and the first step on a long ladder for the regeneration of the town of Newton St Boswells. I would like to thank the local community, the farmers who use the market and everyone involved in the project today for their continued support since its inception.

“This development has been on pause for nearly three years and today is a fantastic step forward in the right direction. It means we can now have strong conversations and open discussions about what happens next in creating access to the site, and can start taking early steps towards developing affordable housing and a major retail outlet on sites.

“Our aim has always been to future-proof the mart and to create a mixed-use site with maximised output and economic regeneration. It is about collaboration with a range of sectors to create jobs, affordable housing, and to meet local demands and the needs of the next generation.”

Scott Donaldson, Managing Director for Harrison & Hetherington, who operate the mart, said: “We are absolutely delighted at today’s decision, as it is one which is so important to farming across the Borders. This will ensure it meets the needs of modern-day cattle and sheep sales and livestock trading. Now requiring modernization, our intention is for it to become one of the most cutting-edge Marts in Scotland.”

  The new plans provide two new bays of covered pens (circa 2,000 sq m), a new office for H&H staff and for interaction with customers, a new canteen, two new multi-species auction sale rings, new car parking, and delivery and servicing accommodation if there was a demand from companies or organisations concerned. H&H Group has confirmed that provision could be made for a bank, health centre or school, and that green space is likely to be available for the Newtown St Boswells Show.

Concluding, Richard Rankin added: “Today’s approval is an important stage in the long-term development programme for H&H’s holdings in the town. We believe that the development will not only benefit the mart, but also grow Newtown St Boswells as the centre of the rural community it serves.

“We will be continuing to conduct ongoing dialogue with the local community on the plans, as  this ambition to create a centre of excellence for rural services in the Scottish Borders starts to come to fruition.