Ruined castle restoration bid set for the green light

Historic castle set for a new future as a family v.2
The updated plans for Cavers Castle.The updated plans for Cavers Castle.
The updated plans for Cavers Castle.

Ambitious plans to restore a ruined and currently roofless 15th century castle near Hawick for use as a private home are set for the green light.

Cavers Castle, located between the Bonchester road and Rubberslaw, is a listed building also known as Cavers House.

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It is on the ‘building at risk’ register and applicant Julie Sharrer submitted a planning bid for its reinstatement, together with alterations and extensions to the derelict structure.

The ambition is to “restore the grandeur befitting of a stately home”, which was once a 64-room family residence.

And when members of the council’s Planning and Building Standards Committee meet on Thursda, June 15, they will be recommended to agree a revised application.

But the design and use of the proposal has been amended to address concerns raised by the council’s case officer and internal consultees. The initial proposal was for a Class 7 use – hotel, bed and breakfast or hostel. This has now been revised to Class 9 use – house only.

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The currently roofless castle is steeped in history and was once associated with the legendary Douglas dynasty.

It has gone through many alterations through the centuries and was partially demolished in 1953.

In his report to the committee, council planner Alla Hassan says: “Due to the siting of the proposal and considerable distances to the nearest neighbours there are considered to be no significant adverse impacts in terms of overlooking, loss of privacy, daylight, sunlight, or overshadowing.

“The remains of the standing tower house are of national significance with significant archaeological evidential information. As noted by the archaeology officer, archaeological finds/ and or deposits will be present and therefore formal historic building recording will be required.”

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The building now stands in a state of deterioration and a design statement, submitted with the planning application by Galashiels-based Camerons Strachan Yuill Architects, outlined the plans for the historic structure.

It said: “The vision for Cavers Castle is to restore its existence as a habitable home and also make the grounds more accessible to visitors to the area. The proposals seek to save the building, categorised as ‘at risk’, from falling into further ruin and provide a secure future for it in a way that is respectful to the historic character and setting.”

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