A MAJOR housing development is looming at a former Peebles woollen mill despite concerns over allotments at the site.

March Street Mill, which was built in the late 19th century, closed in 2015.

Edinburgh-based developer Whiteburn Projects unveiled plans to build more than 50 new homes on the site.

When members of the council’s planning committee meet on Monday (February 5) they will be recommended to approve its residential conversion.

The recommendation comes despite concerns that five allotments would be lost and a further 15 ‘significantly’ impacted, according to a report published ahead of the meeting.

Whiteburn Projects’ managing director, Eve McCurrich, said it was a “milestone” moment for the project.

“Reaching February’s planning committee with a positive endorsement for our development is a significant milestone for us as we remain committed to bringing March Street in Peebles back to life,” she said.

Allotment holders successfully fought off plans from previous site owners Moorbrook Textiles which involved moving the plots to a smaller area.

Under Whiteburn’s bid, all existing buildings would be demolished apart from the Engine House, Boiler House and Gate Lodge.

The housing complex would consist of 51 two-, three- and four-bedroom properties.

The application faced opposition from Peebles Community Council, Peebles Civic Society and members of the public.

Ms McCurrich said: “Our proposals for March Street are the result of extensive local consultation, and they are led by our desire to deliver a sensitive development in the heart of Peebles. This phase of the development will deliver 51 new-build homes and apartments, which will be a mix of tenure, together with the retention of key heritage buildings.

“Central to our development is the retention of key green space for long-term community allotment growing space.

“We have also designed new pedestrian and wheeling routes in response to the local plan requirements to widen permeability across the development for the wider community.

“We are already exploring commercial uses for the heritage buildings with Cullen Kilshaw, since launching the former Boiler House and Engine Shed to the market we are encouraged by the positive response that we’ve received from a range of local businesses who are looking to establish workspace in Peebles.”

Whiteburn’s client manager, Toria Jones, added: “It is our aspiration that our development at March Street will provide a natural extension to the existing, active community of Peebles.

“We have already seen interest from so many local Borders people who want to live in a new Whiteburn home, and I hope that the committee will support the planning officer’s recommendation so we can realise that dream for people whether they already live locally or wish to move to the area.”