Couple facing eviction from Westruther home told they can stay in village

Protesters outside the home of 67-year-old Grace Donaldson
Protesters gathered outside Grace Donaldson's home in the summer

A couple who were served with an eviction notice from their Scottish Borders home have been allowed to stay in their village.

Grace Donaldson and her husband were taken to court by Berwickshire Housing Association (BHA) in the summer.

It came after their property on Westruther's Edgar Road was deemed unsafe by structural engineers.

BHA confirmed the couple had been found a temporary tenancy and will be able to move into new homes being built nearby.

A row erupted in the summer with local residents claiming that housing associations were "ripping the heart" out of the village.

Other people living on Edgar Road eventually accepted alternative tenancies in surrounding towns and villages.

Grace Donaldson
Grace Donaldson has lived on Edgar Road for more than 20 years

However, since neither of the Donaldsons can drive they refused to move out of Westruther and their case went to court.

More than 500 villagers signed a petition calling for Grace and her husband to be allowed to stay in their home.

The 67-year-old, who is the local primary school cook and caretaker, said: "If I'm evicted I will lose my job. I will lose everything."

Following two hearings at Jedburgh Sheriff Court, BHA has now offered the Donaldsons a temporary tenancy at the other end of their street.

They will also be given priority for a tenancy at the nearby Eildon Housing development when it is completed over the next two years.

Michelle Meldrum from BHA said that following "constructive discussions" an agreement had been reached to allow the couple to stay in Westruther.

"I can confirm the home they will be living in is structurally sound and they have the option to move into the new build homes opposite Edgar Road once they are completed," she added.

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