Jedburgh councillor Scott Hamilton told the town’s community council meeting on Tuesday that the local authority has so far failed it its bid to put in place compulsory purchase orders in case an agreement cannot be reached with all of its six owners.
“The compulsory purchase orders have not gone ahead, which is not what I want to be saying,” he said.
Mr Hamilton also vowed to hold the local authority to account as it progresses through the ongoing legal process required to take ownership of the building in order to carry out its bid to see it demolished.
This week a petition was launched in a bid to save the building from going to ground. More on that here: https://www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk/news/momentum-builds-bid-save-jedburgh-site-petition-launched-1318185
Mr Hamilton said: “I would like to get the work that has been done by Scottish Borders Council audited, not that I think it’s an issue, but I would like reassaurance that what has been done by the council has happened quickly enough.
“I am still very confident in the direction of travel which is to get the building down and rebuit. While I am sad to see the loss of such a piece of historical architecture, if the owners had agreed to work with us in the first place it would not have come to this.”
He added: “Mr Miers, the chairman of the planning and building standards committee says we have very little input in to it, but that certainly doesn’t mean I won’t be criticising it if I think things are not moving fast enough.
“I have asked our South Scotland MSP Rachel Hamilton to speak up about this and she has written to the council’s chief executive.
“I think this issue will be carried forward for quite a few more of your meetings yet, unfortunately.”