SCOTTISH Borders Council (SBC) has moved to reassure the community after concerns were raised for future generations of Tweeddale athletes.

Last week we reported that Olympian Chris O’Hare and Scottish athletics champion Stacey Downie were among those against the current proposals for a new Peebles High School.

Their objections were filed in support of local coaches Linda and Gregor Nicholson who have called for better athletics facilities at the proposed development, deeming the planned provision to be “inadequate”.

On the matter, an SBC spokesperson said: “Scottish Borders Council has and continues to engage with the Tweeddale community, including sporting groups, as the Peebles High School project planning application is processed to ensure that the ambition and vision for the school is delivered.”

A number of objections to the current proposals have been filed with the local authority after it submitted a planning application for the £46 million development last month.

According to SBC papers, there is currently a 100m running track, long jump runway and an all weather pitch at the school, as well as sports fields.

These will be “relocated/replaced and developed as new elements” as part of the overall site design of the new Peebles High, the papers add.

But the Nicholsons want better facilities for the school, including a second long jump pit, a throws circle and a ‘multi-use games area’.

They say that the current plans would hinder athletics training, with long jump sessions having to be taken into the prevailing wind – thereby never replicating conditions in competitions – and high jump practice taking place indoors, in trainers rather than spikes.

The size of the school roll and the distance from Peebles to the nearest full athletics facility at Tweedbank have been given as reasons for improved provision.

In their objections, O’Hare and Downie both outlined problems they faced while attending Peebles High School.

O’Hare, who called time on his stellar career in January, said that he spent up to nine hours travelling up and down to Meadowbank each week to access appropriate facilities.

Meanwhile, Downie said she trained on grass at Whitestone Park or at the football pitch in Innerleithen, relying on car lights to see during the winter.

Gregor said: “We have made some progress discussing possible enhancements with SBC officers.

“We fully appreciate that SBC has many calls upon the available budget and it’s a case of swings and roundabouts where the investment goes. But we hope that the powers-that-be will recognise that athletics is deserving of better facilities and ensure a provision which can contribute to improving progress and achievement in athletics at Peebles High School and in the Tweeddale community.”