Jedburgh hotel to be closed and sold off as family home

A Borders hotel is to be closed and put up for sale as a family home after not being able to take in any guests this year because of the coronavirus lockdown.

By Paul Kelly
Monday, 13th July 2020, 9:57 am
The former Glenbank House Hotel in Jedburgh.
The former Glenbank House Hotel in Jedburgh.

The six-bedroom Glenbank House Hotel at Castlegate in Jedburgh has been operating as a seasonal business for several years, opening between March and October, but it has been closed since last October and didn’t reopen in March due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Sale of the hotel as a going concern was considered but it was thought doubtful that any prospective purchaser would be successful in securing support from a bank or other commercial lender.

Now, though, a bid by owners Alex and Julia Wallace has been approved by Scottish Borders Council planners for change of use to a residential property or, potentially, bed-and-breakfast accommodation.

That application does not affect its sister hotel, the Royal in the town’s Canongate, and it will continue to operate.

In a report recommending approval under delegated powers, assistant planning officer Euan Calvert says: “I find the Covid-19 circumstances a material consideration in determining this application. This submission coincided with the lockdown on March 23.

“Even if the property was advertised as a going concern, I acknowledge that finding a buyer will now be more challenging than ever, having not traded in 2020.

“It should be demonstrated that the loss of the facility or service will not have an adverse impact on Jedburgh.

“The sister Royal Hotel has been purchased and refurbished in the past two years by the applicant. It now has 14 rooms, up from the previous 10.

“The applicant also notes additional provision has been created at the Capon Tree in Jedburgh which now advertises as a hotel.

“The assertion made by the applicant is that there is no net loss in bed stock in Jedburgh.

“I acknowledge this position and agree that permanent closure of Glenbank will not have a significant adverse impact on Jedburgh.

“There remains potential for the Glenbank to become guesthouse or bed-and-breakfast accommodation, thereby it could still contribute to bed stock in Jedburgh.

“The news that the two biggest employers in the town are to close will also impact on hotels which would have benefited from business travellers to the area. A further reduction in bed stock may be a future trend.

“Without granting a change of use in this instance, there is a real danger that this category-B listed building will deteriorate beyond repair.

“To ensure the best chance of conserving and protecting the architecture and historic interest of the building, permission is granted.”