Concerns voiced over Teviothead hotel’s change to party house

A historic Borders hotel has been given the thumbs-up for change of use to a party house for stag and hen celebrations despite concerns being raised over noise, antisocial behaviour and even naked frolics.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 2:49 pm
Updated Monday, 27th January 2020, 3:25 pm
The Mosspaul Inn at Teviothead.

A retrospective application by the Mosspaul Inn at Teviothead, now redesignated as a leisure outlet offering short-term visitor accommodation, has been agreed.

The venue, a former coaching inn dating back to 1750, can be rented out exclusively as a party venue to host events such as family get-togethers and business meetings, as well as hen and stag parties.

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.

Its change of image has raised issues among some of its neighbours, however.

Representations made to Scottish Borders Council planners about the A7-side venue’s change of use expressed concerns over potential noise and antisocial behaviour.

David and Jessei Ambridge, of Mosspaul Bothy, were among those offering observations, although they did not register a formal objection.

In a joint statement, they say: “Make no mistake, this is an application for a party house.

“The party house, as such, is currently in the news with one of the major booking companies, AirBnB, ceasing to take bookings for party houses because of the antisocial behaviour attached to them.

“The inn has given us cause for concern on a number of occasions, namely outdoor activities associated with the stag and hen parties.

“The hot tub is the main cause of concern for noisy drunken behaviour, and add on bad language, nudity and general antisocial behaviour.

“The police were called out at one time as several young men were playing football nude on the A7 at 1am.

“We’ve also had to endure people vomiting in the shared drive and overheard angry verbal and physical fights in the car park.”

Hotel owner Edward Barker said his application for change of use had been suggested by the council, adding that he was unaware of the incidents of alleged antisocial behaviour cited by the Ambridges.

He said: “The premises has been operating this way for six years, so it’s not really a change of use in that sense but more of an update made because of a request to do so by Scottish Borders council.

“I am not aware of the incidents that were raised and neither are the police, so I can make no comment on that.”

In his report on the application, council planning officer Stuart Herkes says: “There was concern that the premises is now being operated as a party house, which is, to say, hired out as a premises for use by large groups, which, it is advised, have been observed to engage in antisocial, at times even criminal behaviour, including in terms of noise impacts from voices and loud music.

“Concerns are raised about overlooking of their property by guests using facilities within the grounds.

“Reassurance is sought that there will be curfews operated with respect to the use of certain facilities, namely a hot tub, and those in closest proximity to the property, an outdoor barbecue and seating area, should be set back a greater distance so as to protect the residential amenity of this neighbouring property.”

Mr Herkes adds: “I note the neighbours’ concerns and experiences of guests behaviour, but it is unclear how the proposed use would be liable to generate, or contribute to, the generation of any different type or frequency of such impacts that might occur relative to the hotel use.”

The application was agreed subject to conditions including that a register of guests, including their addresses, be kept by the site’s operator.