A PUBLIC drop-in event to discuss plans for the new Peebles High School has been extended due to “high demand”.

Concerns have been raised in the town over a variety of issues with Scottish Borders Council’s (SBC) proposals for the project.

The local authority decided to host a public ‘engagement session’ on Thursday (February 2) to allow direct contact with officers working on the school plans.

Now SBC has been forced to extend the public event by two hours and open up an additional session earlier in the day due to the demand.

Councillor Leagh Douglas, executive member for education and lifelong learning, said: “The format and timings for tomorrow’s engagement sessions have been altered to allow as many people as possible to engage with council officers and the design team, as well as being able to view the most up to date plans for the replacement of Peebles High School.

“We know this project has been an extremely emotive subject locally and we want to ensure this engagement exercise is both informative and accommodating to everyone interested in attending.

“Whilst we welcome the opportunity to meet with concerned members of the public, we are aware of a social media campaign being promoted locally around these events and are concerned about the negativity surrounding this.

“I would like to remind anyone attending to remain respectful so that we can have constructive and meaningful sessions.”

The drop-in session initially planned will now run between 4-8pm at the Eastgate Theatre.

The additional early afternoon session being opened up to members of the public will take place between 2pm-4pm.

SBC said this was possible due to “low levels of interest from community groups who were invited to planned earlier and later sessions”.

The 50 spaces available at the earlier event are on a ‘first come, first served’ basis and can be secured by emailing placeprojects@scotborders.gov.uk.

Anyone attending the drop-in session running between 4-8pm does not need to inform the council of their attendance and can turn up at any time during the stated hours.

SBC said it anticipated the demand to be high and warned that numbers in the theatre may have to be managed.

The sessions will take the form of “café-style discussions” in small groups of 8-10 people where council officers will present detailed information on the plans.