Writer’s granddaughter backs housing bid

The granddaughter of one of Scotland’s most famous novelists has lent her support to a successful housing bid in the Borders village where she once lived.

By Paul Kelly
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 2:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th August 2022, 4:13 pm
Scottish Borders Council has given the thumbs up to the application for change of use at Broughton Place.
Scottish Borders Council has given the thumbs up to the application for change of use at Broughton Place.

Scottish Borders Council has rubber-stamped a planning application from Jemima Elliott for the change of use of historic stables, garages and storage associated with Broughton Place, just north of Broughton, into two single-storey homes.

The aim of the applicant was to “facilitate the restoration of this building and maintain the heritage value of the building for future generations”.

In approving the application council planning officer Ranald Dods said: “It is listed category A and is currently two houses – one on each wing of the building – with incidental storage and garaging. The proposal is to convert the central portion of the building to two single bedroomed dwelling houses with garages and a loft storage area.”

One of the messages in support of the application came from Lady Deborah Stewartby, of Suffolk Road, London.

Lady Stewartby lived in Broughton for a number of years and is the granddaughter of the novelist John Buchan, author of the classic thriller The Thirty-Nine Steps, a book later transferred to the screen by Alfred Hitchcock.

Buchan spent much of his youth in Broughton with his maternal grandparents, with the location proving an inspiration for his novels.

Lady Stewartby said: “Having lived in Broughton for many years, I knew this site well. An e-shaped building with a dwelling on each end but a muddle of former stables and garages in the middle.

“The proposed application will improve and enhance the whole block, beside providing an imaginative accommodation unit in an area where such accommodation is in short supply.”

Another supporter of the housing development was Michael Elliott, who said: “It’s about time these buildings were redesigned and put to use as they have not been properly used since my grandmother died in the 1970’s.”