Kingsmeadows House near Peebles, historically the main seat of the Hays of Haystoun, has been acquired by local developer Alan Mawer.
Mr Mawer, who was born and raised in the border town, is the owner of Granton Homes, the property development company. It is understood that Granton Homes has applied to Scottish Borders Council for planning consent to turn the Georgian house into 12 apartments.
Local fears that the property would be bought by a developer who would seek to build on the 19 acre estate have been allayed to some extent, although Mr Mawer stopped short of ruling it out. He described the estate as a 'fantastic site' and said that there were no plans to develop it at the moment.
Peebles Community Trust, which had hoped to acquire the property for the benefit of the community, have reacted with dismay to the news. Their spokesman said that this is 'exactly what we feared would happen' and expressed concern that the profit motive would override any requirement to preserve the Grade II listed building as it stands.
The plans can be viewed at Scottish Borders Council's website (www.scotborders.gov.uk) where concerned Clan Hay members will be able to lodge objections to the development.