NEW housing built on a long-standing gap site in Innerleithen remains empty, over eight months after it opened.

It has been revealed that the properties built on a gap site by 41/43 High Street in the town, which opened in February, have still not been filled by prospective tennants.

After the land was transformed by developers Waverley Tweed Limited, the three one-bedroomed affordable homes were acquired by Scottish Borders Council following an agreement made in 2014.

The Scottish Government contributed £120,000 from its Affordable Housing Supply Programme funding towards the purchase of the properties at 41/43 High Street.

On Monday evening, the issue over the vacant premises was raised by Ross McGinn, chair of the Innerleithen Community Trust at the meeting of the town's Community Council.

Ross said: "Myself, and other locals have noticed that the properties by Innerleithen High Street have still not been filled.

"I've been campaigning for housing on this site for years, and it's frustrating to see this brand new building standing empty, especially many months after a grand opening ceremony was held to mark the completion of the housing and the start of a new chapter for area.

"The new housing at Waverley Road, comprising of six two-bedroom properties, were completed and opened at the same time, and have been filled for a while now.

"Can anyone reveal what the hold up is, and tell me if tennants are likely to move into the housing on the High Street anytime soon?"

Councillor Shona Haslam (Cons) said: "The gap site has been a massive frustration for everyone, however, following a few delays, the houses have been handed over to Eildon Housing Association. They are due to be legally signed over on November 20, and we will have residents in there as soon as possible."

The gap site was dubbed an 'eyesore' for years and had been a bone of contention for nearly 30 years in the town.

The site was previously home to the St Ronan's Cafe. After the owner of the cafe died, the building fell into a state of disrepair and the decision was taken to demolish it in the late 1980s.

At the opening earlier this year, former councillors Graham Garvie and Frances Renton joined current Tweeddale East councillor Stuart Bell, plus the former leader of Scottish Borders Council David Parker to celebrate the new housing.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “Legal processes were required to be completed, with sign off due to be completed later this month.”