Staycationers can head to Hawick after approval granted for new caravan site

A new caravan lodges holiday site aimed at staycationers has won approval outside of Hawick –despite neighbours claiming it would create an eyesore.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 1:30 pm
How the caravan lodges will look.
How the caravan lodges will look.

The owner of an historic Hawick hotel has been given the green light for a static caravan site on an adjacent field.

An application had been submitted to Scottish Borders Council by Edward Barker, owner of the Mosspaul Inn at Teviothead, to site seven caravans on a field beside the hotel.

The application had been opposed by Dave and Jesse Ambridge, of Mosspaul Botty, citing a loss of views and privacy, inadequate fencing and potential noise nuisance.

In a statement to the council’s planning department they labelled Mr Barker ‘’a dreamer’’, adding: “He has no intention of developing the site himself. He is just out to make a fast buck by obtaining planning permission and selling the property on.

"If you want the view of the A7 to look like a tip with a hotch potch of old caravans perched on the top of the hill then grant planning permission. This development will be clearly visible coming up and down the A7.”

Pre-pandemic the Mosspaul Inn had been rented out as a party venue to host events such as family get-together’ s and business meetings, as well as hen and stag parties.

When operating it can accommodate up to 19 people at a time, charging around £800 per night for attractions including table tennis, pool, darts, a bar, cinema and outdoor hot tub.

A report submitted with the application from Christine Ewart, of Langholm-based CE Architectural Services, says: “Due to the nature of the business and like so many others, Mosspaul has been unable to trade since early 2020.

"With the current uncertainty over the opening of such venues and the possibility of longer-term restrictions on group gatherings, it is again necessary and urgent for changes to be made to ensure the continuing success and survival of the site.

"It is still the intention to use the inn as a destination venue, however, we must now look away from larger groups and focus on smaller ones or families of up to four members.

"Outside we have plenty of space and we would like to utilise this space to increase our accommodation offering. The field to the south of the hotel had been used for some years as a registered caravan site."

In approving the development, planning officer Scott Shearer said: “The applicants have stated that due to the recent economic climate the viability of the tourism offering at Mosspaul is under threat.

"The purpose of this application is to provide individual accommodation for small families and groups as a means of providing much-needed revenue.”