A PROPERTY firm that wanted to build a hotel in Galashiels has won a legal fight with Scottish Borders Council.

The local authority pulled the mat from under Raymoyle Developments in December, 2017 due to a planning application in principle for the site not, according to Scottish Borders Council, being submitted in time.

Part of the £1,053,000 deal for the Burgh Yard site, which was concluded in March 2017, was that an application had to be tabled with the planning authority within six months - November 22 being set as a cut off point.

Although the Stirling-based property company had submitted an electronic application through the local authority's website just ahead of the deadline - at 4.48pm on November 20 - they posted a cheque for the wrong amount to cover the fees.

And a second cheque, for around £800 less, wasn't received until a week after the deadline.

Scottish Borders Council rescinded the contract of sale for the town-centre 0.69 hectare site and placed it back on the open market.

Ramoyle Developments took Scottish Borders Council to court last year.

Following evidence from both sides at the Court of Session, this week Lord Ericht sided in favour of the developers.

He said: "The issue before me was whether the submission of the planning application on the on-line portal without a cheque constituted 'submitting' the application.

"In my opinion the successful submission of an application under the system used by

the Planning Authority for on-line submission satisfies the requirement to 'submit' an application.

"This is in accordance with the natural and ordinary meaning of the word 'submit'.

"In addition in my opinion it makes commercial common sense in this digital age for the pursuer to use the planning authority’s on-line submission system and comply with the provisions of that system."

Since the contract of sale was ripped up by Scottish Borders Council at the start of 2018, the site was re-marketed.

And according to sources at Newtown St Boswells, considerable interest has been shown by other developers without a sale yet being finalised.

Although Ramoyle Developments hadn't returned our calls it is understood the company won't be attempting to renegotiate a fresh deal for the site.

But they may be awarded damages.

Following the preliminary decision Lord Ericht added: "I shall put the case out by order for discussion as to the appropriate order, and as to further procedure in the case.

"I reserve all questions of expenses in the meantime."

No timescale has been indicated on a decision on the further procedure.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “We are considering the verdict and our options.”