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Old School set for planning thumbs up

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By Fiona Reid
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Old School set for planning thumbs up

A MAJOR milestone is looming for the Lockerbie Old School Project with planning permission expected to be given next week for housing and a community wellbeing centre.

Their application for alterations, extensions and change of use of the former school building on Dryfe Road will go before councillors on Wednesday.

And despite objections from the community council and some residents, planners are recommending it is approved.

The scheme consists of eight flats, which will be developed by Cunninghame Housing Association, as well as 44 parking spaces, landscaping, and offices, along with meeting, training, business and cultural space.

The project team hope to provide access to learning and training, talent programmes, volunteering and work experience; develop creative, learning and social programmes; and offer accommodation, coaching, mentoring and access to support, community groups and the social economy.

They are planning some substantial changes to the sandstone building, which dates from 1875 and has been vacant for over ten years, including demolishing the central and side entrance extensions, erecting a new entrance, installing an additional second floor, putting in roof lightings and solar panels.

Lockerbie and District Community Council have lodged an objection, saying the proposal would result in traffic congestion on a narrow road, with narrow pavements, and conflict with schools users.

Other objectors have made representations about the design, access and parking and the impact on the town’s infrastructure, from schools to the doctor’s surgery.

However, case officer Andrew Robinson is recommending approval and said in his report: “The proposed residential use would be in keeping with the character of the area and it is considered that the community use would also be appropriate on this site noting its location and previous use.

“Taking all of the relevant planning considerations into account, and having considered all consultation responses and public comments received, it is considered that the proposal would result in a positive redevelopment of a redundant traditional building on a prominent site in Lockerbie.

“The principle of the development is acceptable.”


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