PLANNING consent has been granted to build 44 new homes on the former Caerlee Mill site in Innerleithen.

Developers Whiteburn submitted their detailed application for the project last year.

However, concerns were raised over potential flooding and ground contamination at the site.

But the conditions imposed by planners at Scottish Borders Council have now been met – giving the green light to the new two, three and four bedroomed houses and cottage flats.

Roger Bainbridge, responsible for design and delivery, said: “We hope to show that new-build housing can be designed and delivered with consideration for the heritage and context of the site.

"Our homes have been designed with an emphasis on natural daylight and flexible living space to provide comfortable, contemporary homes. 

“We believe that Caerlee Mill offers an opportunity to live in an incredible location in the heart of Innerleithen. It is our aim to offer desirable homes where people want to live, in a place where they will be proud to contribute to its future.”

The developers are also exploring “economically viable options” to retain the 240-year-old grade B-listed Brodie’s Mill which is located at the heart of the site.

Eve McCurrich, Whiteburn’s project director added: “Our key objective is to bring this historic site in the heart of the village of Innerleithen back to life and create a great place for people to live. We have already had a lot of local interest and support.

“We are now moving forward with our tendering processes, and I would be keen to hear from any local suppliers and subcontractors who would like the opportunity to work at Caerlee Mill.

“Our intention is to establish a local supply chain and see as much of our construction spend as possible retained in Borders economy.”
The news was also welcomed by Tweeddale East councillor Stuart Bell (SNP) this week.

He told us: “It is great that something constructive is being done on that site.

“It was sad, so many years ago, to see the mill close and be empty for so long.

“The only concern that needs to be addressed is on the future of Brodie’s Mill, which is at the centre of the site. I think it is important that these old buildings are preserved.”