Green light is given for Galashiels hut plans

The woodland hut conversion site has been given the green light.The woodland hut conversion site has been given the green light.
The woodland hut conversion site has been given the green light.
A Galashiels retailer’s bid to convert a former kennel into a recreational hut as part of an ambitious 10-year woodland plan has received the green light.

Adam Elder submitted a planning application to Scottish Borders Council to extend a dilapidated former estate building east of Craigmyle Park at Peel Wood near Clovenfords into a recreational timber hut.

The application was part of a woodland management plan for the land in consultation with the council and NatureScot.

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In his submission, Mr Elder said the hut would make it possible to be on site in all weather conditions and to stay overnight.

The plan was to renovate and construct the building from fallen timber at Peel Wood, cut and processed at Borders sawmills.

Today, Monday, August 7, members of Scottish Borders Council’s Planning and Building Standards Committee approved the application.

Mr Elder, founder of Why Not?, an outlet which brings locally made or sourced products for sale under one roof, addressed the meeting,

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He said: “I’ve had a lot of help and encouragement from people walking through the woods and sometimes found people camping in the woods, and they’ve all been positive about what I’m doing.

“I’m also ensuring that trees along the public path are safe and I’m happy to do that.

“I started repairs on the ruin last year, really to keep it safe and stop it falling down to the point of it being unrepairable and that led me thinking that it could be fully restored and that’s when I put the planning application in.”

Tweeddale East ward’s Councillor Marshall Douglas said: “On the face of it it seems a very small development but I think that it’s very important that we avoid any possibility of it later being turned into a residential home, so we need conditions that the site is only used for very occasional occupation by the applicant and only in connection with the use of the woodland.”

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Councillor Neil Richards, who represents Hawick and Denholm, concurred, adding: “Scotland has a long history of hutting and this is not going to be an extreme case, it’s just one building which has been brought back into use, so with conditions to prevent it being sold off, it has my support.”

A dozen objections to the scheme had been submitted with opponents labelling it a ‘Trojan Horse’ application which would lead to further expansion of the site in time.