FORMER Scottish Borders Council leader Drew Tulley admitted he was "very disappointed with the attitude that has been taken" after the local authority rejected plans to build a new ambulance depot at Borders General Hospital near Melrose.

He said the council had a duty to help the Scottish Ambulance Service to find a suitable site for a new depot, to make way for the building of a new health centre on its current side in Galashiels.

Mr Tulley argued any concerns over the impact a new building would have on the local landscape were irrelevant while the "monstrosity" that is the now defunct boiler house at Dingleton still remains on the neighbouring Eildon Hills.

And he claimed any concerns over access onto the Melrose bypass could be diverted by installing traffic lights outside the proposed station or building a roundabout.

Speaking at this month's meeting of Galashiels and Langlee Community Council, Mr Tulley said: "I hope common sense will prevail. If we want a quick response to the 999 service we have to make the facilities available to them."

The meeting heard the ambulance station could appeal the decision to the Scottish Government.

Councillor Bill White, a former community council chairman and now member of Scottish Borders Council's planning committee, said: "No-one wanted to refuse the planning application. There were six proposals put forward."

But he added: "The Scottish Ambulance Service didn't seem to want to listen. They seemed to want it on that side at all costs. If that was a garage that Purvis's of whoever wanted to build everyone would be up in arms."