Part of Hawick’s retail history could be consigned to history if plans to convert the town’s former Co-op building into apartments are given the green light.
Hawick Co-operative Store Company opened its first premises in Silver Street in 1839. By the late 19th century, it had expanded to run six general stores, five butcher’s, a bakery, shoe shop and a savings bank.
The category-B listed block of buildings at 65 to 67 High Street opened as a department store in 1885, closing in 1987 and then being sold off to developers.
A planning application has now been put in for six one and two-bedroom apartments on the second and third floors of the premises, above what are now Dorothy Perkins and Burton stores.
The vacant second floor is currently partly used as a storage area for the shops below.
There is no staircase from the first to the second floor, with access by ladder only.
The applicant is Stephen Jacobs, of Leeds-based Stoneacre Properties.
A report submitted to Scottish Borders Council by West Yorkshire architect SDA says: “The second and third floors of this listed building are basically unused, other than for a few items requiring long-term storage, which would be moved to the first floor.
“Our application will bring the top two floors into use and provide residential accommodation in the town, which will be independent of the shops below.
“The materials used for the development will be of high quality and will enhance the top two floors of the building, which at present are not used due to access problems and have fallen into a state of disrepair.”