Borders wedding venue owners win fight to turn house back into hotel

Controversial plans for a country home to be turned back into a hotel have been given the go-ahead despite objections from neighbours.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 12:42 pm

Hartree House, west of Broughton, is now set to be converted into a 10-bedroom hotel.

That move comes almost 20 years on from it last being used as a hotel, offering 26 bedrooms back then.

Mike and Stephanie Goddard, of Peebles, bought the 18th century house in 2008 and have spent around £1.5m renovating the property and its grounds since then.

They were granted permission to turn it into a wedding venue, with teepees outside, in July 2016, but Scottish Borders Council planners imposed strict conditions on such use in response to objections from neighbours.

One condition, imposing an expiry date of 2018 on that consent, was lifted on appeal, but another, stipulating that only two of the mansion’s rooms could be rented out at any one time, remained in force.

The council’s planning and building standards committee agreed to lift that condition and allow guests to stay all year round at its meeting on Monday, however.

That was not before hearing from concerned neighbours claiming neither the single-track access road to the estate or the water supply in place could cope with any additional demand, though.

Graham Dobbie lives in one of the 12 houses on the estate and he believes the infrastructure there would struggle to cope with increased use, saying: “A limit on the number of events is required to protect the area’s tranquil situation.”

Applicant Mr Goddard said: “It has been mentioned on several occasions that it was a fully-functioning 26-bed hotel in the post-war years and wasn’t decomissioned from that until 2000. It’s really a change of use back to a hotel.

“Any objection from a neighbour is a concern of ours.

“My family and I have lived there for 12 years and have enhanced the Hartree environment substantially.”

Describing the redevelopment as modest, planners approved the application subject to various conditions.