AN EXPANSION bid at a popular and award-winning pub, hotel and restaurant which is steeped in history has been rubber-stamped – despite concerns from its nearest neighbour over a loss of privacy.

A planning application has been approved by Scottish Borders Council (SBC) for alterations and extension to provide self-contained guest accommodation at the Gordon Arms Hotel and Restaurant in the Yarrow Valley.

The work is earmarked for an existing storage area and former bunk house and will also involve the replacement of windows.

But an owner of a neighbouring property to the Gordon Arms, “strongly objected” to the application on the grounds that it would impact their privacy.

In an objection submission they said: “I purchased and have lived in this property since 2015, having specifically chosen this property in a very rural area at a distance from other properties and because it is not overlooked.

“There are no neighbouring properties apart from the Gordon Arms, with no garden next to my property and no windows overlooking my property.

“The proposed extension with elevated balcony would look directly onto my property, into my kitchen and my garden, above the fence. This would be very intrusive, particularly as it will be used as a self-let and therefore will have numerous, unchecked and unregulated visitors, changing frequently, and of great concern as I have two very young children.”

In his report approving the application, Alla Hassan, SBC assistant planning officer, addressed the objection, saying: “It is noted that the introduction of balconies has the potential for a loss of privacy and overlooking. In this instance the host building itself is approximately 23m away from the neighbouring dwelling, and 19m from the neighbouring garden boundary.

“As such, whilst the concerns raised are noted; due to the considerable distances between the application site and neighbouring dwelling, there are considered to be no significant adverse impacts on the neighbouring amenities that would warrant a refusal.”

The AA four-star rated business was taken over by Bryn and Oxana Jones when they moved to the region from Oxfordshire in April last year.

The watering hole is steeped in history.

It dates back more than 200 years and hosted several novelists, playwrights and poets in the late 18th and 19th century, including Sir Walter Scott, James Hogg, Robert Burns and William Wordsworth.