Plans go in to bring back Bonchester Bridge caravan park

Bonchester Bridge.
Bonchester Bridge.

A Borders village looks to be in line for an economic boost if a bid to reopen a former caravan park there is agreed.

Plans have been submitted to revive the old Bonchester Bridge caravan park closed in 2003.

The old holiday destination used to be home to around 60 caravans, and now the site’s owner, Gavin Stevenson, a director of Hawick property management firm GLS, wants to see it make a comeback.

Mr Stevenson said: “It is my intention that the site in Bonchester Bridge is reinstated as a caravan park, which, according to Scottish Borders Council, is its last existing use and therefore would not meet with any objection from them.

“This, given the current climate of staycations, would indicate the viability of the proposal and it would hopefully benefit Bonchester Bridge as a whole.”

His application to host a mix of touring and static caravans is being backed by supporters including Hawick and Denholm councillors Clair Ramage and Stuart Marshall as they would welcome the extra trade it would generate for the village’s pub, the Horse and Hound, and the employment it would provide.

Mr Marshall said: “It’s an excellent idea by Mr Stevenson and one which would have my full support.”

Ms Ramage said: “This is great news and will benefit Bonchester Bridge and the rural community as a whole.”

Hobkirk Community Council chairman Jeremy Phipps added: “This is most welcome news.”

Bonchester Bridge resident and fellow GLS director Andrew Lubbock, of Harwood Mill, is also backing the plans, saying in a letter of support: “We very much support the concept of the Bonchester Bridge Caravan Park’s reinstatement.

“The caravan park was an integral part of village life, at one time including a post office and shop.

“It was immaculately maintained and was popular with all the residents. There was never any problem regarding noise or anti-social behaviour.

“The pub was supported by the park’s occupants so that a good service, made possible by the increased revenue, was provided to benefit one and all.

“Unfortunately, since the demise of the site, the pub, which was at the core of Bonchester social life, has suffered from reduced trade.

“A much-needed rejuvenation of the village centre would be extremely welcome.

“Should the caravan park be resurrected, it would provide an amenity serving the community by providing work, improving the appearance of the village, generating revenue from tourists and upgrading the goods and services provided by the Horse and Hound.

“For too long, the village has been moribund.”

Plans for a housing development on the site were drawn up in 2003 but later withdrawn.