GALASHIELS has a desperate need for land to build a new bypass to ease pressure on the town centre - despite spending millions of pounds on a new inner relief road.

Former Scottish Borders Council leader Drew Tulley made the statement at the first meeting of the town's new community council last week.

He revealed sites had also still to be found for new schools, housing, and leisure facilities.

But the retired councillor believes they could all be accommodated by developing the Hollybush Valley. And he has urged council planners to investigate.

In an email read out at Galashiels and Langlee Community Council on Wednesday night, Mr Tulley said: "I would like to suggest that the Council should now consider the suggestion that they look closely at development in the Hollybush Valley.

"Land in Galashiels is at a premium with no new industrial or Brownfield sites within the town, a desperate need for sites for new school provision and further land for new housing, parks and leisure activities and of course the long term need to identify a by-pass to relieve continued pressure in the town centre.

"All these things could be met by future development in this area but we must continue to look objectively to the future."