Perseverance pays off for soft play scheme

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Coldstream’s Laughing Ducks soft play centre has finally got the go ahead thanks to public pressure and the persistence of owners.

Jon and Ann Standing bought No 1 Works, Hillview Trading Estate, Guards Road, to turn it into a commercial soft play centre but their plans have been turned down three times by Scottish Borders Council.

Their application for a Local Review Body review after planning permission was again refused in November last year was to be their last attempt at getting the business up and running and they had all but given up.

However, a Facebook campaign and petition persuaded the members of the Scottish Borders Council’s Local Review Body that despite planning officer concerns about road and pedestrian safety and loss of employment, the application could be granted, subject to conditions.

Jon Standing said on their Laughing Ducks Facebook: “Over the past few months we have resigned ourselves to the council refusing the appeal and were expecting this to be closure.

“Much to our surprise though, the councillors were much more supportive of our plans this time, so much so that they overturned the rejection and approved our plans.

“To say we were shocked is an understatement.

“We would like to thank everyone who has supported us throughout. The petitions were referenced in the hearing, so a big thank you to everyone who signed them.”