Council decides to pursue land purchase of Lowood Estate

Tweedbank masterplan

Published: Thursday, 31st May 2018

We have decided to conclude negotiations with the owners of Lowood Estate with the intention to acquire the land.

A successful acquisition would enable development proposals to be brought forward in line with the Local Development Plan, which was updated last year.

Councillors met on Thursday 31 May to discuss the proposal, a private item at the full Council meeting due to the inclusion of commercially sensitive information.

Opportunity for housing and business space

Local plans are informed by the Tweedbank Masterplan which identifies the potential for new residential and business space development on Lowood Estate, as part of a wider Tweedbank expansion proposal, which would seek to attract existing and new residents and businesses moving into the area, including those who would wish to use the nearby Borders Railway as a key transport mode.

The prospectus also identifies opportunities to expand Tweedbank village and reposition the current industrial estate as a new Borders Innovation Park.

The Tweedbank Masterplan was developed as part of the Borders Railway Blueprint Programme, and was carried out at the same time as a similar piece of work on Galashiels.  Both these masterplans present a variety of proposals to encourage people to live, learn, visit and work in the area, as well as attract inward investment through public and private investment and partnership working.

Councillor Mark Rowley, Executive Member for Business and Economic Development, with responsibility for housing

“Any discussions and negotiations around the purchase of land is clearly commercially sensitive and therefore we cannot go into detail, however following discussions and background work over a period of time the Council has now taken the opportunity to get a decision from Elected Members to proceed to more formal negotiations with the owners of the estate.

“There are clear benefits to this strategic site being in the Council’s ownership and control in terms of facilitating the development of the land in line with the Local Development Plan and future proofing for the extension of the Borders Railway.

“Clearly this is a long-term strategy, and negotiations around the potential purchase of the site are a first step, and one which must be handled sensitively and dealt with in private.”

Due to the commercially sensitive nature of this matter no further information or statement can be provided at this time.