Coffee shop for Minto

Denholm Community Councillor Rob Armstrong has lodged an application to transform a building at the Old Schoolhouse in Minto, into a licensed coffee shop.

Mr Armstrong, who is also involved the Denholm Meet Upstairs antique shop, has proposed a change of use to form the cafe in the former school hall - of which he is the current owner and occupier next door - and his submission is pending consideration by Scottish Borders Council.

Documents state that having been involved with the original formation of the Auld Bakery/Denholm Meet cafe and shop, “Mr Armstrong would like to provide a similar meeting place in Minto for local residents and passing trade.”

It is proposed that a new ramp is formed at the entrance, and an existing toilet upgraded. With striking views to the south, a terrace will be formed for external seating.

The design statement adds: “There appears to be quite a bit of support for the project within Minto itself, which Mr Armstrong has been a part of for many years.”

Indeed, the plans received a favourable reaction during last week’s meeting of Denholm community council, although after Mr Armstrong had declared an interest, a brief discussion ensued amongst fellow members and Minto residents regarding parking and traffic. The Minutes state: “Questions were raised regarding the availability of adequate parking, but members of the Minto community confirmed that the area in question was not owned or required by the Church.”

However, it was suggested that a speed limit of 20mph should be imposed through Minto village due to the site’s location on the corner. The chair is writing to SBC, and Councillor Watson McAteer will seek a site meeting with roads officers.