A NATIONAL charity has been ordered back to the drawing board in their bid to build a care complex in central Galashiels – because of flood risk.

Carr Gomm currently provides supported accommodation for 16 clients in the Galashiels area.

But the charity wants to demolish an eyesore building on Island Street and replace it with six one-bedroom purpose-built flats.

The full application, though, has been met with opposition from both Scottish Borders Council’s flood-risk officers and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

A flood map covering the Gala Water shows that areas of Island Street are susceptible to flooding every 200 years.

SBC flood risk officer Lauren Addis said: “It should also be demonstrated that there is dry pedestrian access and egress for all proposed flats during the 1:200 year plus climate change flood event.

“Please note that we may not be able to support the application if it cannot be demonstrated that the proposed residential accommodation will be safely above an acceptable risk of flooding and may request that a Flood Risk Assessment is undertaken.”

The local authority department’s findings were mirrored by environment watchdog, SEPA.

Officer Anna Gaffney stated: “We have reviewed the information provided in this consultation and it is noted that the application site - or parts thereof - lies within the medium likelihood flood extent of the SEPA Flood Map, and may therefore be at medium to high risk of flooding.”

Carr Gomm is hoping to be allowed to demolish the empty buildings at 33-35 Island Street, which have become an eyesore over the past decade.

In their place they want to create five support flats with a further apartment for the on-duty carer.

Carr Gomm this week withdrew their planning application this week to allow for ‘consideration of alternative proposals’.