ANY potential buyers of JD Wetherspoon’s Cross Keys Hotel in Peebles may face expensive roof repairs.

Last week this paper revealed the Northgate hotel was listed for sale with 40 other Wetherspoon properties around the country.

Wetherspoon undertook major repairs to the structure of the building before it opened in 2014 and further major work is needed again.

In August, the national pub chain applied to Scottish Borders Council (SBC) for listed building planning consent to fix leaks in the roof.

A heritage statement, by Manchester architects Harrison Ince, stated: “The original Scottish slate roofs have become brittle and are beyond salvaging for the most part.

“The existing situation on the roofs is a mixture of original Scottish slate and a mixture of other types, thought to be from historic patch repairs.

“Elsewhere, there is evidence of water ingress into the pub at numerous locations.

“The quality of decoration to the white painted render on the exterior of the building has diminished and this is peeling and cracking around the property.”

The application continued: “The aim is to re-use as much of the original Scottish slate as possible.

“This will be done by harvesting the slates which are still intact from the side and rear pitches and reinstating them onto the most prominent front-facing roof pitch (this is the pitch which faces the high street).

“The original pattern and initials laid out in slate will be reinstated in a like for like manner to respect the historical character of the building.

“Due to Scottish slate not having been produced in over fifty years, the proposal intends to use Welsh or Spanish slate when re-slating the less prominent side and rear roof pitches.

“We believe this is the best and most viable approach as Scottish slate has become extremely hard to come by and the main feature roof will still feature the original material.

“Replacement of ridge tiles which are not original and are beginning to lift away will be needed.

“This is in addition to new lead flashings as the existing ones have been compromised.”

In a consultation reply, Peebles Civic Society wrote: “We welcome the proposed comprehensive remedial works to the roof of the historic Cross Keys.

“However, we wish to emphasise the importance of the necessary replacement natural slates being of appropriate colour and appearance so that these will match the originals as closely as possible, including the unique contrasting ‘WW’ initials and decoration to the front elevation.

“We are concerned at the proposed use of new Spanish slate as this usually has a lighter colour and more reflective appearance than Scottish slate.

“Welsh slate on the other hand is often more purple in colour, but we note for example that some new Welsh slate products such as SIGA 120 Excellence have been successfully used in a Scottish heritage context.

“While reclaimed Scottish slate would be the best choice in our opinion, we would ask that whatever is used, samples are obtained for matching and approval before any work commences.”

JD Wetherspoon declined to comment on the repairs.