A DERELICT grade-A listed building in Walkerburn could be set for renovation. 

Neil Veitch, of Innerleithen, wants to restore one of the two identical gatehouses which guard the entrance to Stoneyhill House and Sunnybrae House, both of which belonged to the eminent Ballantyne family.

The plans would also see an extension built on the side of the property, although this would be within the confines of the building’s historical footprint. 

The village of Walkerburn grew up around the textile mills of Tweedvale and Tweedholm, which were owned by Henry Ballantyne. 

After his death in 1865, the company was passed to his five sons. Three left to run a mill in Innerleithen, while David and John Ballantyne stayed behind and built Stoneyhill and Sunnybrae, including the gatehouse lodges. 

Now known as Sunnybrae Lodge, the gatehouse was originally built in the 1860s, but for the last decade it has been placed on the ‘buildings at risk’ register. 

Scottish Borders Council has carried out various emergency works on the site over the last few years, to make it water and wind-proof, and to secure the building against vandalism, and in October 2014 the local authority used compulsory purchase legislation to acquire the property. 

In May 2017, the property was advertised for sale, with offers of over £65,000 being sought by Galashiels-based agents Edwin Thompson, and the gatehouse passed into private ownership in July of that year. 

A planning statement, submitted on behalf of Mr Veitch by Galashiels-based Camerons Architects, reads: “The proposal is to combine the existing lodge and stable buildings to form a single dwelling opening onto the existing walled courtyard on the north side of the buildings. 

“New flat roofs will be introduced between the lodge and stables and along the west side of the courtyard. Both enclose existing building footprints and respect the primary nature of the lodge and stable buildings.

“In order to bring the house into full use for contemporary family living, the project proposes to create a new kitchen and living space that will be located along the west side of the courtyard within the existing footprint of a previous dilapidated enclosure. 

“This extension will match the exterior of the north elevation with regards to the stonework and large metal framed glazing. The roof over this extension will be a green roof.

“The proposal seeks to restore this category A listed building, rehabilitating it as a contemporary three-bedroom dwelling. 

“Overall, the proposed architectural moves retain the external appearance and the local identity of the buildings and their surroundings while reconstructing existing dilapidated outbuildings. 

“The alterations respect the character, materials and scale of the existing fabric and enable it to meet 21st century standards for contemporary family living by replacing all windows and doors and including new internal wall linings throughout the lodge and outbuildings where materials and internal finishes have been carefully considered and selected to enhance its historical features.”