RESIDENTS in Peebles are furious at plans to uproot them from their allotments at March Street Mill to a smaller site.
Shirley Barratt, John Falla and Alex Linton told the Peeblesshire News of their objections to plans for a new housing development which would affect their allotment site.
If the development is approved by SBC, allotment users say they would have to move to a “smaller, contaminated site” and would have to start from scratch to grow their fresh produce.
The current site enables them to grow and cook a range of vegetables and more all year round.
Ms Barrett, 55, told us: “The allotments mean a great deal to us, when the mill was opened, the allotments were initially created for the workers, and since the mill closed down, they are still used by many residents today.
“There is great friendly community feeling at the site, with many folks having the chance to get outdoors, socialise and exchange any surplus produce they have.”
Mr Falla, 66, told us: “If we were to be uprooted from the current site to a much smaller one on a contaminated site, it would take us back to square one and we’d have to start from scratch to grow the produce.
“It would involve a huge amount of work, and given the ages of the folk who use the site, it would be too much for them. We are now in the process of contacting councillors to have this issue raised on our behalf to see what can be done to help us.”
Mr Linton, 68, said: “A lot of older folk aren’t as confident to visit the SBC website and spend the time trawling through the online form to register their comments about the proposals for March Street Mill.
“In addition, we have encountered problems with SBC’s website denying us access to comment. Other choices they would have would be to write to SBC to let them know what they think, or ask another family member who can navigate the website to log the comments.”
SBC said: “We are aware that the planning portal was down on Wednesday night, but it is now up and running and accepting comments.
“Members of the public can also post comments if they have issues using the planning portal or do not have access to a computer.”
The residents also attended last week’s Community Council meeting in Peebles to voice their concerns.
Chairman Robin Tatler told the meeting: “The community council is opposed to the plans at the March Street Mill site.”
To comment on the application (Ref: 17/00063/PPP), visit www.scotborders.gov.uk, select Planning and Building and Planning Applications.
To comment by post, include the following details: date, name and address of the sender, reference number of the application, address of the site and your comments.
The postal address is: Planning and Regulatory Services, Scottish Borders Council Headquarters, Newtown St. Boswells, Melrose, TD6 0SA.
The Mill closed in 2015, bringing an end to an industry that had occupied the site since 1884.