AN APPLICATION to turn a former grocery store in Galashiels into two homes has been given the green light.

The Polish Shop, at 101 High Street, will be turned into a flat and a two-storey house.

Scottish Borders Council's lead planning officer Carlos Clarke said that although the shop was in the town centre, it was "well outwith the Core Activity Area".

He added: "I recognise the loss of the retail use, but also note the building has had non-retail uses in the recent past (including a gym).

"I accept the residential use may be a less vibrant contributor to the town centre, and that there are no other ground floor residential uses fronting the High Street.

"However, a residential use will, nonetheless, be a positive contributor, and this shop comprises an unremarkable and modest property located at the end of the town centre, well away from the principal activity area of the town.

"There is also a range of uses in this part of town already, including residential uses on upper floors.

"A residential use on the ground floor would have a negligible effect on the strength of the town centre overall and the character of this end of the town, and would maintain the mixed use nature of this area."