A BORDERS gym boss has launched an appeal to Scottish Government planners after the council ruled against a sign advertising the business in Galashiels.

Conrad Campbell, of Unit8 Gym in Tweedbank, asked the local authority to support a retrospective bid for the advertisement on the gable wall of 1 Hall Street back in October.

Twelve comments supporting the bid were filed with Scottish Borders Council (SBC) stating that the sign was well designed and promoted physical/mental health.

Three objections were submitted citing concerns over driver distraction, visual impact and the proximity to the business, found around three miles away.

One of the opponents was Daniel Cowe, a director at Galashiels gym Titan 365, who labelled the sign an “eyesore”.

In refusing the application, SBC planners ruled that it would “represent a threat to road safety” and would “contribute to unsightly clutter”.

Now the matter will be examined by the Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA).

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In his appeal statement, Mr Campbell said: “I believe that the sign blends in well with the surroundings, is secure and is not a hazard to adjacent road users, not being any more distracting than any other sign adjacent to any other roadway.”

He added that it had been “generally well accepted by local people in the immediate surrounding area”.

According to the DPEA, the case is not yet ready to be allocated to a reporter but will be decided via a site inspection.

In Mr Campbell’s initial bid to SBC, he said: “The purpose of the sign installation at this location is to increase awareness of the gym’s presence to those residing and working within the central and west side of Galashiels.

“The gym currently has over 250 members and I’m trying to further increase membership, offering its facilities to everyone in Galashiels and the surrounding areas.

“My friend who owns the first-floor property at 1 Hall Street was more than happy to grant consent for the sign. I did not at the time realise that advertisement consent would be required.

“I feel that the sign blends in aesthetically, that it’s not out of place in this location and does not have any detrimental effect. The sign is professionally installed and secure.

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“I have worked hard and through these tough times to build my business and explore other avenues to further boost gym membership and hope that this application can be viewed positively.”

But outlining its reasoning behind rejecting the bid, SBC’s planning chiefs said: “In this case, there are advertisements in the wider surrounding area, including prominently placed displays.

“This particular sign is also simply designed and non-illuminated. However, it is fundamentally a commercial billboard placed on the gable-end of a traditional stone-built terraced residential property and does not relate to any business premises.

“The fact the signage is advertising a business outwith the town reinforces the sense of visual incongruity.

“The sign is large, prominently placed, and visually harmful to the character of this particular residential townscape as a result.

“While a sign in such a context may risk being referred to as ‘precedent’, each application must be treated on its own merits.

“In any case, this proposal is fundamentally unacceptable in its own right.”