A much-loved Borders village pub clears a council planning hurdle
A Borders village pub which represents a ‘force for good’ has been granted planning approval for a beer garden to help it survive and thrive as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
The application has been approved for the change of use of land from hard standing to form a new beer garden to the south east of The Horseshoe Inn at Eddleston.
The bid won the enthusiastic support of villagers living close to the premises.
Neighbour Morag Brown wrote in support of the application, saying: “It will provide a social centre for the village and generally give it a more positive atmosphere. Our cottage overlooks the beer garden and it is a much more pleasant feature than the car park as it was previously.
"Chit chat and laughter from customers is audible from our property and this adds to the pleasant vibe that the beer garden brings.
"There were no problems with excess noise or drinking last summer and this is likely due to the clientele that the business encourages.”
Another villager, Kathy Kinder, praised the contribution the pub’s proprietors, Iain and Fiona Dempster, had made to village life.
Kathy says: “Fiona and Iain have been hugely welcome in our village since they took over the Horseshoe Inn almost three years ago.
"During the Covid-19 crisis, the Horseshoe has become a real focal point, offering help and support to people in isolation, being a pick up point for fresh fruit and vegetables, preparing and delivering fresh meals and takeaways.
"The village pub is enjoyed mainly by friends and family groups and we have never been disturbed by noise.
"Having a proper beer garden will be a real asset to the village and will not have a detrimental environmental impact.”
In his report, Scottish Borders Council planning officer Ranald Dods said the outdoor area had been used for drinking during the Covid-19 pandemic last summer and the application was being made to formalise that arrangement.
He added: “The Horseshoe is a long-standing business in the heart of Eddleston. I note representations received in support of the application, particularly that from the closest property and that the area has been in use for outdoor seating without issue during the pandemic.”