Permission problems at Boleside picnic site

I share Lawrence Alexander’s disappointment with the attitude of Laggan Properties towards the Boleside picnic site near Galashiels (letters, December 22).

Since 2000 I have organised an annual barbecue for the local gay community at the site. The only comment ever made to us by a passerby (the former ghillie) was that we had “made a lovely job of tidying up” after ourselves.

At our 2009 barbecue a Laggan Properties employee told me that the site was private, and that I had to seek permission for the group to use the site. Permission was granted in 2010, but denied to us in 2011, in spite of the fact that Scottish Borders Council still leases the land. I have tried to find other groups who have been required to seek consent to use the site, and failed. Nor is the factor of the estate able to identify any other groups.

Have any Southern readers been told that they needed permission to use Boleside picnic site, or does Laggan Properties just discriminate against homosexual people?

Alastair Lings

Tweed Road