Setback in Hawick Aldi store bid

editorial image

The bid to bring an Aldi supermarket to Commercial Road received a setback this week.

The Scottish Government Reporter refused to support a request to have the site’s status changed to allow further retail development which would see the supermarket giant open its doors.

But developer Gavin Stevenson is hopeful common sense will prevail and he revealed that the former Wilton Mills building and clock tower could be demolished within a week.

A Wilton Mills Ltd spokesman said: “The reporter’s statement in no way impacts upon the robustness and credibility of our own application.

“We have proved in the SHEP test for demolition there is no other use for the site and the approval granted supercedes the reporter in regard to retention or housing alternative.

“SBC have worked closely with us and a determination is anticipated in early course. We are confident that common sense will prevail and permit £5million of inward investment and creation of 35 new jobs.”

Local councillors Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall issued a joint statment yesterday (Thursday). They said: “We are very disappointed that the reporter has decided not to support a request to designate the Wilton Mill site as part of the town centre.

“Many of the townspeople we have spoken to struggle to understand how retail businesses currently located literally next door are designated as town centre but this area has failed to satisfy the reporter.

“We are also very concerned that should the historic clock tower be demolished as planned we are left with a deserted site that will be an eyesore for years to come.”