Premier Inn granted operating licence at Tweedbank

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Plans for a major hotel in the Scottish Borders have been rubber stamped by the council. 

Following the approval of planning permission for a 71-bed Premier Inn hotel at Tweedbank in September, the UK’s largest hotel brand has now been given permission to operate from the site by the council’s licensing board. 

The hotel will form part of a £12m ‘Borders Gateway’ development off Tweedbank Drive, including a BP fuel station, Marks and Spencer food kiosk and drive-through Costa cafe.

At a meeting of the council’s licensing board on Friday October 25, solicitor Christopher Grunert appeared on behalf of Whitbread, the Dunstable-based parent company of Premier Inn. 

Mr Grunert, of Sheffield-based law firm John Gaunt and Partners, told councillors: “This in an application for a new Premier Inn. The site is yet to be developed but it is adjacent to the Tweedbank Industrial Estate, and about a quarter of a mile down that road is Tweedbank station. 

“We think this is a perfect location for a new Premier Inn, and we’re proposing a 71-bed establishment that we’re hoping will act as a gateway to the beautiful countryside here in the Scottish Borders.

“We have included off sales, as we have a very limited off sales display area, and those sales generally come from people who are dining at the premises and buy a bottle of wine but not finishing it and wanting to take it home. 

“We don’t have any sort of trade in selling bottles of beer and wine. 

“We have addressed children’s access, and will allow children onto the premises until 10pm if accompanied by an adult.”

The hotel will be able to accommodate 213 people, and the bar and restaurant, which will be open from 11am until 1am on Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays, and up until midnight on all other days, will cater for up to 66 people at a time. 

There will also be a 64-metre-squared outdoor seating area. 

Speaking in support of the application, Kelso councillor Tom Weatherston told the licensing board: “The first thing I’d like to say, is that I’m glad that the objectives of this licensing committee have been met, and there are no objection to this. 

“Secondly, the only thing left to say is that I think this is a hugely exciting prospect for the whole of the Borders. 

“This is something the Borders has needed for a long time and I’m delighted to support this application.”

Councillors voted unanimously to approve the application.