A DOZEN ‘tiny retreats’ are in the pipeline for holidaymakers as a Borders farming family bid to diversify their business, it has emerged.

An application has been submitted to Scottish Borders Council by the Leggate family for a ‘low impact tourism business’ at their farm, Greenlawdean at Greenlaw.

The 12 sites proposed would be spread across the northern ownership of the farm in such a way to ensure the varied flora and fauna and geological interest of the wider Greenlawdean landholding can be enjoyed by those who visit.

The sites would be used on a rotation basis, so that only a maximum of eight could be in occupation at one time.

The accommodation would be in the form of mobile ‘showman’s wagons’ or ‘tiny shacks’, although the applicant states that proposal should not be regarded as a ‘caravan site’.

A supporting statement with the application, submitted by real estate company Savills, said: “Our clients express intention is that they want to diversify their farming business in as low an impact way as possible so that it does not adversely affect the natural features for which the land is noted and accredited.

“As a result, the proposals are deliberately small scale and low impact. It is further hoped that the proposals can provide a platform for education on the wider nature conservation initiatives Greenlawdean Farm have and to help visitors mental well-being.”

The business is proposed as a seasonal operation with all the accommodation units stored in a holding yard within the farm complex in the off-season.

The supporting statement said the proposal was only “technically” a caravan site, adding: “The proposals can only be considered as caravans because of a technicality in the definition of caravans related to dimensions. After this there is no similarity and we certainly do not consider that the proposals represent a new caravan site.”

The planning application also seeks approval for associated toilet and shower facilities and footpaths.