The Scottish Borders is to have a new village green

A new village green is to be created in the Borders after a community decided it wanted an outdoor meeting place - rather than more houses.

Leaf Green.
Leaf Green.

Leaf Green is the oldest green field in Lilliesleaf, having been enclosed and hedged since 1730.

For many years the land, adjacent to Muselie Drive, had been earmarked for a new housing development.

There was a history of failed planning bids from 1990 to to 2015, when planning permission to built 16 homes on the site lapsed.

Back in 2018 a survey of villagers was carried out which revealed overwhelming support for the purchase of the land for recreational use.

That same year Lillesleaf Community Development Ltd (LCD) was registered as a charity and with funds from the Scottish Land Fund bought Leaf Green.

Now Scottish Borders Council has granted planning approval for the site to be developed to "create a positive focal point at the centre of the village" and utilised for safe outdoor recreation, including sports days and fetes for the whole of the village to enjoy.

The aim is to carry out a number of landscaping works to provide a network of paths and terraces, connected to an area of hard standing at the site entrance to improve all-weather recreational access.

A design report on behalf of LCD, submitted with the planning application, says: "The village recognises the benefits of additional housing, but another important need in the village is for some green space: by 2018 the Lilliesleaf Local Development Plan showed the village had virtually none.

"The field in question has always provided the village with recreational opportunities, and the path across the land leading to and alongside the Ale Water is a popular walk.

"Our collective vision is to significantly improve the cohesion and resilience of the community by involving local people in the ownership, design and management of projects.

"The community will achieve a sustainable, environmentally sensitive and socially aware development of the land."

Planting on the land will largely consist of native species such as aspen.