THERE is to be no stamp of approval for a bid to convert a former Peeblesshire post office into disability-friendly homes.

A planning application was submitted to Scottish Borders Council for the redevelopment of the ex-Innerleithen postal hub at 53 High Street into accommodation for disabled users.

The provision aimed to provide facilities not just for wheelchair-users but also for other disabilities such as the visually and audibly impaired.

The post office closed a number of years ago and the facility was moved into a local convenience store.

Locals objected to the latest planning bid and council officers have refused the application because “it would not contribute positively to the vitality and viability of the town centre”.

One objector said: “This is a retail premises in a prime location on an emerging and ever-vibrant High Street.

“What is being proposed would result in the loss of a street level shop the like of which is badly needed on Innerleithen High Street.

“What is planned here is the worst possible use of this premises at a location on the south side pavement that already has restricted movement due to the bus shelter adjacent. Further there is no parking for vehicles associated with the property.

“The property has been vacant for a few years and is now a bit of an eyesore on the street.”

Another objector said: “This eyesore of a building has been left to rot for many years, much to the concern of local residents. Innerleithen High Street has just begun to emerge as a vibrant retail experience with a busy café scene and plenty of independent shops for visitors and locals alike.

“53 High Street should be kept as a retail premise and add to the ambience of this beautiful town.”