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Councillors 'flabbergasted' by comments on new ambulance station at BGH

Published: 31 Oct 2012 06:302 comments

COMMUNITY councillors this week admitted they were left "flabbergasted" by comments made by Scottish Borders Council's landscape architect on plans for a new ambulance station at Borders General Hospital near Melrose.

The ambulance station could be built next to Borders General Hospital.

COMMUNITY councillors this week admitted they were left "flabbergasted" by comments made by Scottish Borders Council's landscape architect on plans for a new ambulance station at Borders General Hospital near Melrose.

It follows a planning application by the Scottish Ambulance Service for a new depot to replace the current station in Galashiels which is due to be demolished to accommodate a new expanded Roxburgh Street medical practice.

Scottish Borders Council's landscape architect Jim Knight has called for the refusal of the application on its present location at land north west of the hospital due to concerns about the effect it could have on the nearby Eildon Hills.

Melrose and District Community Council this week revealed they supported the planning application. They pointed out they were keen to protect the Eildon Hills - a designated area of natural beauty - from development.

However, they admitted they were surprised the council's landscape architect had not commented on plans for the row of white houses at Trimontium Heights which it was claimed had more of an impact on the National Scenie Area.

Community councillor Tom Douglas said: "He (Mr Knight) should be reminded of these houses and told to paint them another colour."

NHS Borders has warned any delay to the planning process would push back the building of its new £1.8million health centre in Galashiels.

In his submission, Mr Knight wrote: "I have serious concerns that this proposal could damage the integrity of the Eildon Hills National Scenic Area by exposing both the development site and the larger BGH campus to public view directly in front of the hills which are the focal point of the NSA.

"I do accept that a site for the ambulance depot needs to be found, but suspect that the applicant is reluctant to give the alternative locations proper consideration."

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