Wilton Mills to be razed as supermarket circles

Part of the Wilton Mills of Hawick building is to be demolished.
Part of the Wilton Mills of Hawick building is to be demolished.

DEMOLITION work on Wilton Mills is expected to start next week.

And it is understood there is interest in the Commercial Road site, although a deal is still to be signed with what is believed to be a major national supermarket chain.

It was confirmed this week that moves to raze the Category B listed derelict property will begin in the next seven days, although the prominent clock tower will remain.

Developer Gavin Stevenson, of Beaune Properties (North) Ltd, told the Hawick News: “It’s starting next week although it is only partial demolition as we still don’t have consent to demolish the facade at the former YM building.”

Speculation was rife this week that the site would be taken on by supermarket giants Aldi.

However, a spokesperson for the property side of Aldi refused to confirm this.

He said: “We are definitely interested in being in Hawick but we are not contracted to any specific site at the moment.

“We are currently reviewing our options.”

It has taken almost eight years to reach this point in what was described by Mr Stevenson on Wednesday as a “tortuous process”.

Planning permission was granted in 2011 to demolish the building and construct 24 new flats as part of the Commercial Road development that brought Sainsburys to the town.

However, there were problems with Historic Scotland and a legal wrangle ensued with Scottish Borders Council regarding scaffolding which was erected when the local authority deemed the building structurally unsafe.

The matter was settled out of court although details of who paid what share of the £100,000-plus bill were shrouded in secrecy. Mr Stevenson said: “I’m delighted. It seems to have taken forever but hopefully this will tidy up that part of Commercial Road.”

The news has been welcomed by local councillor Stuart Marshall. He said: “For some time now I have expressed great fears about the safety of it and indeed the kids who are accessing the area and to have the building razed to the ground would be a shot in the arm for this whole part of Commercial Road.”

Mr Stevenson confirmed that a new planning application for the site could be submitted by early next month.

However, the local authority revealed that it had not received any details of the proposed demolition