First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has voiced concerns over alleged breaches of lockdown restrictions at a “party house” owned by an Edinburgh businessman.
Greenloaning, also known as Linton Lodge, in the Scottish Borders is owned by Mike Cameron, Director of the Dominion Cinema.
Locals have raised complaints over several years about noise disturbance at the house, which is specifically marketed as a rental for hen dos parties of up to 26 people.
Neighbours have also recently complained of a lack of social distancing from visitors to the house, and gatherings of people from several different family groups.
Local MSP Christine Grahame brought the issue up at the Scottish Parliament last week.
“I have raised with the first minister my constituents’ concerns about a so-called party house in West Linton, where the proprietor, Michael Cameron, is apparently defying Covid security measures,” said Ms Grahame.
For example, one weekend, 30 men from London at a stag do were too drunk for the police to safely disperse them.
“Does the first minister agree that that attitude beggars belief and that it could cause a spike in the virus not only locally but beyond?”
Ms Sturgeon said the behaviour was irresponsible, and called on both guests and accommodation providers to do better.
“I agree. That conduct is not responsible in the circumstances that we live in,” she said.
“The guidance is very clear that large numbers of people from different family groups should not gather in shared accommodation for leisure purposes such as stag and hen parties.
“The rules that govern circumstances in which people can spend time with friends and family apply both at home and away from home at any type of holiday accommodation.
“We have seen in Aberdeen what can happen with gatherings that do not adhere to the guidance, particularly where alcohol is involved.
“We expect guests to comply with the guidelines, and we absolutely expect accommodation providers to act responsibly when letting larger properties.
“The recovery of our tourism and hospitality sectors is at a very fragile stage, and I urge everyone to play a full and responsible part in supporting that recovery while, of course, keeping Covid suppressed.”
Local residents told the Evening News they are concerned both about noise disruption and about adherence to lockdown measures.
Nearby resident Jackie Ledger, 47, said she hears regular “noise, screaming and screeching” from the house, as well as loud music.
John Thomson said: “The people who use the house are also using the local facilities, they’re using the pub, it just goes completely against any common decency.”
Rentals were paused during the strictest lockdown period, but resumed from July 10. Since then police have visited the property several times following neighbour complaints.
When contacted for comment Mike Cameron said he is taking legal advice on the matter.