Bonnyrigg piercing studio gets go ahead after appeal

Friday May 26th 2023


The proposed piercing studio off Bonnyrigg High Street.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A decision to reject plans for a body piercing studio off Bonnyrigg High Street because it shared a vennel with neighbours has been overturned on appeal.

Midlothian planners refused permission for the change of use of a disused workshop in the town into the studio after a complaint that it would lead to more footfall on the vennel.

However the decision was branded ‘unreasonable’ by the workshop owner and he appealed to the council’s Local Review Body.

This week they granted the appeal but told the operator to install obscure glass in two windows in the west of the building which overlook a communal garden area.

Agents for the owner of the building had compared the path to the workshop entrance to the many historic vennels found in Edinburgh Old Town.

They said planning officers had come to the ‘unreasonable conclusion’ that the path gave the impression of being more a private access than public.

They said: “We would make the comparison to Edinburgh Old Town, where similar vennels are found in abundance and provide access to a whole plethora of differing commercial and residential uses which all work in harmony.”

Owner of the workshop Matin Khan had earlier told Midlothian planners the building had been used as a pet shop in the past and the vennel, which allowed access to it, was already used by neighbouring commercial properties for deliveries as well as residents of flats above the businesses.

However the claims were challenged by one neighbour who insisted the building had only ever been used as a storage space for the pet shop and no customers ever came down it while it was open.

Following a site visit to the studio, councillors on the Local Review Body, upheld the appeal and granted planning permission but added the condition that the windows would be obscured to “safeguard the amenity of neighbouring residential properties”.

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