GO-AHEAD has been given for seven holiday homes for “eco-conscious tourists” in a Borders village.

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) has granted planning approval for seven self-catering lodges and a residential warden’s lodge on land east and north east of Ash Cottage at Mainhill, St Boswells.

The lodges have been designed to have a minimal impact on the local environment, and the use of sustainable materials and technologies will ensure that the development is energy-efficient and operates in a manner that is “kind to the planet”.

In her report approving the application, Julie Hayward, SBC’s lead planning officer, says: “This would be a small-scale development on an area of unused/vacant land. The design and materials of the lodges are considered acceptable.

“The proposal would provide adequate holiday accommodation in a landscaped setting. The proposal would not result in over-development and would provide an acceptable environment for future holidaymakers.”

A report with the application, submitted by Melrose-based Alasdair Kirk, says: “The lodges will be marketed to eco-conscious tourists who are looking for a sustainable holiday experience and are willing to pay a premium for the privilege.

“The location of the lodges is ideal for visitors, as it is close to many of the region’s key attractions, including the River Tweed and the surrounding countryside.

“The lodges will also be close to local amenities, including shops and restaurants, making it easy for visitors to access everything they need during their stay.

“They will be equipped with the latest eco-friendly technologies, including SUDS systems, solar panels and energy efficient heating systems which will reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprint of the development.

“The proposed development will bring many benefits to the local community, including the creation of new jobs and the injection of much-needed investment into the local economy.”