Abbotsford play area

A play area will be added to Abbotsford House’s £14.5million renovation of the estate.

Councillors at Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee unanimously backed the plans at Monday’s meeting.

The park will include a timber play equipment in a wood on land east of Abbotsford, and a pathway will be constructed.

A seven metre high tower will be included, which will form part of a castle which includes slides, rope and suspension bridges, climbing and incline walls, wobble dish and balancing frame among others.

Councillors placed a condition on the approval which means Abbotsford must submit a management plan on the future of the woodland.

Approval of the plans is a further boost to the Abbotsford Trust, which last month secured £1million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. £2.5million is still needed to secure the long-term future of the estate.

The new visitor centre is to open this summer, and the restored house will open next year.