Country house conversion into a ‘spiritual retreat’

Plans have been revealed for the conversion of a country house in a Borders village into a six-bedroom guest house and ‘spiritual retreat’.
Borthwick Hall in Heriot.Borthwick Hall in Heriot.
Borthwick Hall in Heriot.

Proposals have been submitted to Scottish Borders Council for Borthwick Hall in Heriot.

The category C-listed baronial country house dates from 1852.

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The plan is for the premises to be predominantly run as a retreat offering courses on spiritual health and well-being.

The courses will host a maximum of 15 guests at any one time and offer a fullyinclusive service of food and drink.

When courses are not being operated, Borthwick Hall will offer a simple bed and breakfast service.

Guests will sleep either within the hall or the nearby converted garage.The immediate garden area and surrounding rural land would be used as a way for guests to relax and walk within the beautiful setting.The property will be run by its owner who would live on site with their family along with two members of staff to help manage the business.

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A report submitted with the application says: “With a maximum of only 15 guests proposed at any one time there is more than enough parking space at various locations around the property and the sight lines at the main entrance are very good given the class of road. The number of guests is equivalent to a large family gathering were the property to remain solely as a private residence.“The type of activity undertaken by the guests during their stay will be quiet and discreet so impact on the neighbouring properties will be neutral.

“The applicant is seeking to retain Borthwick Hall in part as a private residence and permanent home and at the same time provide much needed rest and respite for guests in a beautiful part of Scotland.

“Borthwick Hall provides the perfect backdrop and amenity for this to happen. It also ensures the long-term sustainability of this large and important house as well as bringing small scale and discreet tourism business into the local area and beyond.”