Seven-year ‘battle’ ends for Hislop GardenS residents

Local youngsters are all smiles after the completion of the Hislop Gardens play park
Local youngsters are all smiles after the completion of the Hislop Gardens play park

HISLOP Gardens has been completed – seven years after the development first began.

Outstanding issues surround-ing the road, fencing and the installation of a play park – which were all stipulations of the original planning consent – have now been finished by developer Galabrae Homes.

Chairman of the residents’ association, Steven Irvine, told the Hawick News: “We set up the association involving all the residents and we’ve had a number of meetings over the years. We’ve had a great deal of assistance from councillors Stuart Marshall and Jock Houston who have linked in with representatives from the council to flag up what some of the issues were.

“It’s been a lot of work moving things forward and getting this progressed but we are delighted that, after seven years, we have finally got a play park, the road is completed and the area has been properly fenced off.

“It’s been a long battle but I’m glad it’s now been completed.”

As well as the final areas to be cleared up, the street has been blighted by a whole raft of problems as the developer disputed the condition laid out by Scottish Borders Council.

These included concerns over drainage, street lighting, screening and tree planting. While even the street signage was contentious.

As a result of the work not being carried out the development could not be adopted by the local authority, which saw issues over refuse collection and gritting.

Councillor Marshall, who gave special mention to SBC’s former roads chief Ron Elliot for his efforts throughout the saga, said: “Many meetings and site visits have taken place over the past five years or so in order to try and resolve the many issues that these residents faced.

“Credit to them all, they have succeeded only because they were united all the way through. It’s a beautiful place to live and I am only too happy to have been of help to them.”

While Councillor Houston added: “The developer declined all invitations to attend the meetings and failed repeatedly to meet the planning conditions for the development.

“Councillor Marshall and I were only too happy to pursue the residents’ concerns.”

Alan Gueldner, SBC’s principal enforcement officer, said: “I am pleased that this case is coming to a conclusion. It is just regrettable that the planning authority had to make use of rarely used direct action powers to achieve this satisfactory result.”