A FORMER Berwickshire Masonic Lodge building at the centre of a bitter cash row is to be converted into a family home.

Scottish Borders Council has granted approval for a new dwelling at 13 Mill Wynd in Greenlaw.

The Lodge Blackadder 1350 is said to have been granted its charter in 1927 and moved to Mill Wynd in 1977, with subsequent extensions to the building funded wholly by lodge members.

In its heyday the lodge was at the heart of Greenlaw's community and social life.

It was renowned for its Saturday night dances, community functions and wedding receptions with its two large halls, lounge area, two bars and a kitchen.

But due to a fall in membership the lodge was declared dormant in October 2015 and was sold by the governing body of freemasonry in Scotland for £62,500.

A campaign was launched calling for some of the proceeds of the sale to be shared within the community in Greenlaw, to perhaps fund a replacement community centre.

Supporters wanted the community to benefit from the investment in the building over decades.

The campaign was led by Gerry McCann, former chairman of Greenlaw & Hume Community Council, who said the local lodge had been developed over many years with no financial contribution from the Scottish HQ.

However, the Grand Lodge of Scotland said all property and proceeds must be returned to them to comply with the the constitution and laws of the organisation.

Mr McCann responded, saying: "It is really as simple as a notoriously secretive global organisation extracting substantial funds from a small rural community, which is desperate for inward investment".

In a report recommending approval of the housing bid, the council's heritage and design officer says: "The main building on the application site makes a positive contribution to the conservation area. Its retention is welcomed in principle."