BUSINESSES in Peeblesshire will receive a shot in the arm if plans for a major commercial storage container plant on a former gas works site gain approval, a developer has claimed.

Planning permission is being sought from Scottish Borders Council for a 30 storage container facility on land west of Pirnhaugh, in Princes Street.

The vacant application site comprises an existing hard surface which benefits from a security fence topped with barbed wire.

A supporting statement from Galashiels-based Ferguson Planning, on behalf of the applicant Murray Campbell, says the “proposal supports local businesses and meets a pre-existing need locally”.

The development is aimed particularly at supporting businesses in Innerleithen, Walkerburn and Peebles with the objective of enabling them to continue trading successfully by having access to a “conveniently located and competitively priced storage capacity”.

The statement adds: “Delivery of the proposal would support jobs and assist existing businesses to invest in the local area.

“The site has clearly been developed previously. It is believed that the site was previously in use as a waste water treatment works.

“The market targeted by the proposal is small businesses with a requirement for small scale storage on a secure site.

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“It is expected that this will largely attract tradesmen, small sole trader (work from home) businesses, and other small businesses with a requirement to own or use additional equipment which isn’t often used (e.g. shops, beauty therapists, groundworks firms etc.).

“It is considered that the proposal shall draw the majority of its customers from Peeblesshire (especially Innerleithen, Walkerburn, and Peebles).

“Economically, the objective of the proposal is to enable local businesses to continue trading successfully by having access to conveniently located and competitively priced storage capacity.

“In this regard, although this may remove a final hurdle to expansion and hiring more staff in some cases, the proposal could be understood as primarily aimed at supporting businesses to maintain existing employment with creating additional employment an important secondary aim.

“The proposal represents an increase in the economic infrastructure of Innerleithen.

“While the impact on social infrastructure is less clear, it is considered that the most likely effect will be one of improvement as it will help to support the number of small businesses in the town and contribute to local socio-economic resilience.”