Containers bid for Berwickshire car dealership that thought outside the box during pandemic
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An in-part retrospective bid has been submitted to Scottish Borders Council by the recently created Border Box Offices for the siting of eight shipping containers for rent or sale as business units on land east of Aitken-Walker Cars in Berwick Road, Duns.
Aitken-Walker Cars is a family-run business established in 1988, which has grown steadily to now employ more than 20 people.
The Covid pandemic had a significant impact on the business, with the majority of employees put on furlough.
This uncertainty led to consideration being given to the diversification of the business and the idea was formed to establish the Border Box Offices concept – the re-purposing of shipping containers for use as offices or other service units.
The refurbished containers – which include insulation, glazing, heating, lighting and IT facilities – have already proved popular.
A report submitted with the application, from Duns-based Richard Amos Ltd, says that due to the portable nature of the new business the applicant was not initially aware that planning permission was required, hence the current retrospective bid.
The new business has now been put on hold, pending the outcome of the planning application, with a number of the units already successfully let amid a high number of inquiries.
The report adds: “This development will not lead to the over-development of the site and the proposal will be assimilated into the overall Aitken-Walker business site footprint. There is no impact on residential properties or local amenity by the proposed use.”