Berwickshire golf club is on course for better future after house bid agreed

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A struggling-to-survive golf club in Berwickshire is on course for a brighter future after a housing appeal was approved.

A planning application was submitted to Scottish Borders Council by Duns Golf Club for permission to develop a single dwelling on land south east of Harden Hall.

The land was previously used as a greenkeeper’s yard, but is now redundant and is surplus to requirement by the club.

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The club is “struggling to keep its head above water” economically, a statement submitted with the planning appeal revealed.

Duns Golf Club.Duns Golf Club.
Duns Golf Club.

It faces particular challenges economically to continue as an 18-hole course.

One way to address the situation would be to drop down to a nine-hole course, but the fear is that such a move would only result in further economic problems in the longer term for the club and the community.

The club requires a substantial injection of cash to carry out work to the clubhouse and to maintain the course, and the sale of the land for housing was seen as a potential solution.

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But the Harden Hall application was refused by council officers as it would be “visually detached from the settlement of Duns” and because it was deemed not to relate to any existing building group locally.

Last week, members of the council’s Local Review Body met to consider an appeal against that refusal.

And members concluded that there was in fact part of a wider building group of properties to the western boundary of the proposed development site.

Hawick and Denholm councillor Neil Richards said: “I think it is very hard to deny that there is a building group because there are so many houses there – one more on the edge makes no difference whatsoever.”

Councillor Viv Thomson, for the Tweeddale West ward, also highlighted that the application would provide economic benefit to the area.

Members agreed to overturn the original refusal decision.