HOPES have risen that a mothballed Borders village primary school could reopen in the future after a bid for eight new family homes was given the green light.

In June of last year members of Scottish Borders Council (SBC) agreed to close Eddleston Primary School, near Peebles, after its roll fell to just four pupils.

But hope was also expressed at that meeting that if student numbers in the catchment area increased the site could reopen.

Meanwhile, the view has been expressed locally over whether the building could be converted into a temporary village well-being hub.

This week members of SBC’s Planning & Building Standards Committee granted planning permission for eight new homes on land south west and south east of Bowbank Cottages at Bellfield Road in Eddleston.

Tweeddale West councillor Eric Small welcomed the development.

He said: “I think it is a good idea for the houses to be built because it is going to bring families to this village.

“The school has closed at the moment because there are not enough children, so more family houses is a good thing.”

The application received 12 notices of objection on grounds such as loss of light and privacy, negative impact on the setting of area, and road and pedestrian safety concerns.

A report to the committee, from SBC planning officer Ranald Dods, says: “A residential development is unlikely to detract from the character and amenity of the surrounding area.”

Karen Adams, on behalf of the objectors, said: “As a community council we welcome development to our conservation area to enhance and sustain the rural community.

“The new road and footpath would extend and be constructed on the conservation area causing a devastating change to the private road area entry, impact existing parking outside the church, would require the removal of all trees in that area to accommodate the maximum width foot-way and necessary services of an adoptable road.”

Mr Gavin Yule, on behalf of the applicant, said: “The road design and street design around the development has been developed through constructive and extensive discussions with SBC roads and provides the development with a adoptable junction.

“The site will deliver environmentally-designed homes which will contribute not only to council housing targets but to net zero emissions.”