Focus on tourism is ‘killing community’

The go-ahead for three proposed holiday pods would mark ‘another nail in the coffin’ for a Berwickshire fishing village, an opponent to the scheme has claimed.

By Paul Kelly
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 10:10 am
Updated Thursday, 10th March 2022, 10:10 am
The proposed pods
The proposed pods

A planning application has been submitted to Scottish Borders Council for the holiday cabins with parking bays on land in Burnmouth, adjacent to a former church and close to the village harbour.

The applicant, named as ASE Holiday and Property Rental Ltd, has pledged to provide an “attractive holiday destination, boosting the local economy by responsibly increased tourism”.

But the application has raised serious concerns among villagers amid claims that “this focus on tourism is killing the community”.

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Opponent Paul Oswald, of Lower Burnmouth, is among the dissenting voices.

He said: “The reality is that, apart from some local cleaners servicing the pods, all the income would be syphoned off elsewhere and certainly not accrue to Burnmouth.

“Were this planning application to be granted it would be another nail in the coffin of the Burnmouth community as a local fishing village.

“Already over half the houses are either holiday lets or second and third homes, or are empty. This focus on tourism is killing the community and adds nothing to the infrastructure. It provides no regular jobs or facilities.

“The presumption, by an unheard of holiday company, that it can just march into the village without any introduction or prior discussion, hiding behind the smooth words of its architects, and do what it likes is breathtaking.”

Additionally, a number of objection comments have been submitted to Scottish Borders Council.

Among them is villager Sheila Lillie who raises issues of flood plain risk, inadequate access and increased traffic.

She states: “Burnmouth is a lovely village. It is such a shame for people to come in and design unsightly holiday homes which will not enhance the area at all.”

Meanwhile, James Cameron, of Whinfaulds, Burnmouth, raises concerns over the applicant’s status, saying: “The agent names the applicant as ASE Holiday and Property Rentals Ltd and claimed they owned the land.

"They are not registered with Companies House, and the address given ‘The Hill, Stonefalls, TD145ST’ does not exist.”