Hotelier wins caravan fight

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The threat of removal has been lifted from a static caravan which was installed without planning permission and has been used for the past five years as seasonal staff accommodation for a remote Borders hotel.

“I’m relieved, especially as no-one will be made homeless,” said Alistair Moody, owner of Tibbie Shiels Inn which sits on the western shore of St Mary’s Loch.

He was commenting after Scottish Borders Council’s local planning review board agreed on Monday to grant consent for the 30-foot mobile home, in a secluded wooded area near the hotel, for a period of 10 years and on condition occupation is limited to hotel staff or for short-term holiday lets.

Councillors thus overturned the January decision of planning officer Dorothy Amyes who had rejected Mr Moody’s bid for retrospective permission, claiming the economic case had not been established and that the caravan did not respect the character of the area.

Objections had come from St Mary’s Loch Sailing Club and Ettrick and Yarrow Community Council, the former expressing concerns over the caravan’s septic tank and the latter claiming it could set a precedent for similar random sitings in the area.

Mr Moody appealed and in June the review body deferred a decision pending further submissions from the interested parties.