Stately home could be flattened to make way for new homes

Scottish Borders Council wants to demolish Lowood House to make way for more housing.Scottish Borders Council wants to demolish Lowood House to make way for more housing.
Scottish Borders Council wants to demolish Lowood House to make way for more housing.
A stately home in the Borders could be flattened to make way for new homes, it has emerged.

Following marketing and development advice from Savills, six options have been drawn up by Scottish Borders Council for the future of Lowood House, on the banks of the River Tweed near Melrose.

The mansion was obtained by the council after purchasing the Lowood Estate in 2018 for £9.6 million.

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The sixth option listed in a council report on plans for Tweedbank is the partial or whole demolition of the home.

Partial demolition of the manor house would cost £330,000, and to demolish the whole site would cost £440,000.

The report states: “Demolition of the whole house will increase additional land for development and amenity use.

“Whilst the east wing of the house is attractive and could be retained, the additional cost of modernisation is unlikely to make this a viable option.

“This is considered the preferred option.”

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Other options considered included a boutique hotel, conversion to flats or a training centre.

However, they were all considered not to be viable due to cost and other issues.

When councillors meet next week they will be told that demolition would also free up more land for new housing.

The report to full council adds: “Savills advise that there is occasionally demand from institutional users or well funded community groups for this type of property, however, the cost of conversion is likely to have an impact on demand and viability.

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“Demolition of the whole house will increase additional land for development and amenity use.”

The contents of Lowood House went under the hammer in October 2021, with one dish from the house selling for more than £1m.

The previous owners of the house, Alexander and Erica Hamilton, had a condition in the sale that they could continue to live at Lowood, but following Mr Hamilton’s death in 2020 the family decided to leave and spend their days in Jamaica.