Newtown St Boswells auction mart plans could create 'new town centre'
A major redevelopment of a Scottish Borders auction mart site could create a "new town centre" for the area.
The proposals by the H&H Group in Newtown St Boswells include retail and leisure provision alongside a residential development.
An auction mart would remain at the centre of the scheme but with "extensive new facilities".
An application for planning permission in principle has been submitted to Scottish Borders Council.
H&H Group chief executive Richard Rankin said: "The plans which we have submitted to the council this week are vital to the mart's ongoing development, and offer a great opportunity for other rural businesses and the town.
"We'd aim to improve and enhance on the current facilities in the town and in submitting these plans, the intention is to create a busy town centre and rural hub for the surrounding communities."
He said the need for housing stock in the area was not new with mart land earmarked for development for nearly 15 years.
"We believe there is an opportunity to use a new junction onto the A68 to unlock this potential and attract business and businesses to the mart," he said.
"Our ambition is to create a centre of excellence for rural services in the Scottish Borders."
He said the group would be continuing consultation on the proposals alongside property developers.
Jack Cadell, managing director of Cadell Property, said they had taken on board many issues already raised by the community.
"The mart in its existing form, is dated and requires modernisation to bring it to the right quality for modern-day cattle and sheep sales," he said.
"Working with our experienced mart team and local farmers, we have integrated existing facilities with modern facilities re-orientating the mart to face north and link with the A68.
"We are pleased that we can retain the listed auction mart ring which we hope will be of interest for some sort of community use."
He said when it was completed the facility would be "one of the most cutting-edge marts in Scotland" and something the "vibrant town" could be proud of, benefitting businesses and residents alike.