Owners hoping to turn Borders wedding venue into hotel

Hartree House.
Hartree House.

A Peebleshire wedding venue’s owners are seeking to change the terms of its planning permission so they can operate it as a hotel. 

Mike and Stephanie Goddard are hoping to offer year-round accommodation for visitors Hartree House, west of Broughton, after a planning dispute two years ago left them able to host wedding parties, but not guests, there.

The Goddards, 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 the house into a wedding venue with marquees in July 2016, but Scottish Borders Council planners imposed strict conditions on such use in response to objections from neighbours. 

One condition, that the planning permission was only valid for two years, was removed on appeal, but another stipulating that only two rooms can be rented out in the mansion at a time has remained in force.

A new application, submitted by Lanark-based Burrel Design Studios on behalf of the Goddards, seeks to lift that condition and allow guests to stay all year round, however.  

A supporting statement accompanying the application reads: “The effect of the council’s ruling means that year-round self-catering accommodation may legitimately be offered in the lodge, the white house and penthouse, and the rights bestowed under the planning acts mean that year-round bed and breakfast accommodation may be offered for a maximum of two bedrooms within Hartree House. 

“However, planning permission would be required if three or more bedrooms within Hartree House were occupied by guests.

“Over the last 10 years, the current owners of Hartree House have rescued the historic structure from being a building at risk to being a fully-restored historic building incorporating some contemporary elements which have served to reconcile former unsympathetic earlier additions and have made the building fit for occupation.

“Regrettably, the limitations imposed by the planning status of the property have restricted the opportunity for the current owners to accommodate visitors who have wished to re-establish their connection with Hartree House.

“The opportunity to offer accommodation to guests will add significantly to the attraction of Hartree as a venue and will assist towards the upkeep of the house and grounds.”

The house was used as a school during the Second World War, only later being converted into a hotel.