Innerleithen caravan park approved despite objections

The developers of a proposed small caravan park near Innerleithen hope to cash in on the Peeblesshire town’s burgeoning reputation as a centre for mountain biking.

Six mobile holiday chalets, each offering three bedspaces and with metal roof canopies for the storage of bikes, are set to be erected on a one-acre paddock on the south bank of the River Tweed near Haughhead Farmhouse on the back road to Walkerburn.

The planning application for the venture from Tim Ferguson and Simon Lawson was approved at Monday’s meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee despite seven objections from neighbouring residents and businesses.

Among the objectors was Brian Graham of the much larger Tweedside Caravan Park which lies across the river from the Haughhead site, but is linked by a public footway over an old railway bridge.

Mr Graham said “over 50” of his regular customers had expressed concerns about the proposal, citing the potential for increased noise nuisance, dog fouling and loss of privacy.

“One of our main concerns is people cutting through our caravan park to access the town and also [our] security during the winter months,” he added.

However, Innerleithen, Traquair and Glen Community Council supported the bid for what it described as “a rather rundown site” and claimed it would complement, rather than adversely affect, the Tweedside park.

And a report by local planning officer Craig Miller recommended approval of “a modest development which will provide important support accommodation for the growth in visitor numbers expected as a result of mountain biking”.