Plans for an Aldi supermarket in Commercial Road were dealt a further blow this week when council officials vetoed the bid.
Hawick councillor Watson McAteer is describing the news as a “disaster” for the town.
Scottish Borders Council officials made Monday’s decision under delegated powers and the Hawick News understands that developers will now go to the council’s Local Review Committee seeking a reversal of this decision.
This comes just over a week after Wilton Mills and the clock tower were demolished and Councillor McAteer says it’s not good news for Hawick.
The Hawick and Denholm member said: “While I understand that council officers have simply followed a policy-driven process to refuse the Aldi application, the decision is nothing short of a disaster for the town. I can only hope that when appealed the councillors who form the local review body overturn the decision and support the wishes of many Hawick folk.”
Fellow Burnfoot councillor Stuart Marshall added: “This really is a blow for the town and I think there will be many people including myself who will be extremely disappointed that such a famous name in retail may not becoming to the area. I hope that an appeal is launched soon.”
The town’s sole Tory councillor George Turnbull said: “I have been advised that they will certainly appeal the decision made under delegated powers. I would think that Aldi and their agents are familiar with these procedures and will know their way around as to what is required to build a convincing case at the appeal meeting.”
Ron Smith, who holds the planning portfolio at SBC, said: “Clearly I am still in no position to comment as it could come to the Local Review Body.”
Councillor Davie Paterson added: “This is a real shame. I find it extraordinary that such a big retail development as this should be decided in this way, I would have preferred it to have gone to the planning committee to decide.”
Hawick and Denholm councillor Alistair Cranston said: “There is a great need to ensure that within and around Hawick new business opportunity is supported as much as possible by all.”
A spokesperson for developer GLS said they intend to appeal the decision.