“Ambitious” Loanhead flats rejected

Friday September 17th 2021


The roof of the house at the centre of appeal can be seen behind the larger property on Mayburn Terrace, Loanhead.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Councillors have expressed ‘grave’ concerns over plans to turn an empty house into flats with fears the new property would look into a neighbour’s bathroom.

The bid to convert the small house, which can only be accessed by a footpath, into two flats was refused planning permission by Midlothian Council in March.

And an appeal to the council’s Local Review Body this week backed the decision as councillors expressed astonishment at the proposals for the small house.

Councillor Stuart McKenzie said after visiting the site of the house, which lies behind a larger property on Mayburn Terrace, he had “real concerns” about the proposal.

He said: “It is very ambitious to squeeze two properties into one there.

“The roof lights will look into the neighbouring house’s bathroom.”

The proposals for the property had included seven roof skylight windows which would be installed for the upper flat, with developer insisting that the nature of the openings would mean they could not overlook neighbouring properties.

And they changed plans for an obscured dormer window to a further roof light to address the issue.

However it was not enough to convince the local review body, who heard several previous applications to turn the house into flats had been rejected over the years.

As well as concerns about overlooking the house next door, the access to the property which has in the past been used as a family home, was questioned by members.

Councillor Dianne Alexander said: “I have grave concerns about allowing this to become two flats. There is really no parking around it and the way in is not really do-able.”

The appeal was rejected unanimously by the review body.

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