A PEEBLES-BASED food bank has moved into a new home – with an independent GP surgery poised to relocate to its former base.

The Trussel Trust previously ran the Peebleshire Foodbank from 1 Silverbirch at Cavalry Park in Peebles.

But earlier this month it successfully relocated to the County Buildings at Rosetta Road.

Now Scottish Borders Council (SBC) has granted planning approval for Dr Ross Stewart’s Cademuir Clinic, currently based in short-term accommodation in the town’s Cherry Court, to move into the former food bank premises.

In his report approving the application, SBC planning officer Ranald Dods says the relocation “would not prejudice the wider Cavalry Park development”.

The application generated more than a dozen expressions of support, including one from Sue Hope, of Broughton, who said: “The service offered by the Cademuir Clinic is outstanding – the empathy, kindness and understanding offered by Dr Ross Stewart is something you won’t find often.

“To have this service available in Cavalry Park will ensure that patients from across the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway will have the ability to access this vital service knowing that they do so in private and from a practical point of view can park on site and not have to worry.”

A report submitted with the application, from Peebles-based Ericht, the planning and property consultants, on behalf of the applicant, Cademuir Property, says: “The proposal for the premises to accommodate an independent general practitioner’s consulting practice is considered to offer significant community benefits. A material consideration is that Peebles, and the Scottish Borders generally, are currently under-provisioned in all aspects of primary care.

“The demographics of the Borders demonstrate an ageing population with increasing long-term health needs. This proposed addition to the primary care workforce is something that should be welcomed and encouraged.

“1 Silverbirch Studio provides the correct setting for high-class primary care with its dedicated car parking, ground floor layout, level access suitable for mobility impaired users and a large well-ventilated modern space.

“The setting also benefits from being in close proximity to a wealth of other health care providers who have chosen to relocate in Cavalry Park, including four physiotherapist practices, chiropractors, podiatrists, sport massage, psychology services and dental practices.

“General practitioner Ross Stewart is involved with a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare private practitioners who operate out of Cavalry Park. The Cademuir Clinic will undoubtedly be complementary to other businesses operating in the park an will contribute to the diversity and vitality at the locality.”