Bonnyrigg piercing studio plans rejected over shared access

Wednesday February 8th 2023


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A bid to turn a disused workshop into a high street body piercing studio has been thrown out after neighbours objected to sharing their vennel with customers.

The owner of the building which lies at the back of commercial buildings on Bonnyrigg High Street, applied for planning permission to change its use from storage to a studio.

Matin Khan 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.

Concerns were raised about the high footfall which would come with the studio through the access, which also leads to residents’ gardens.

Planners said that while there was support for businesses opening up in Bonnyrigg Town Centre the building itself was in a residential area of it.

The officers report said: “The proposed piercing business would enhance the variety of services offered in the area and would not result in the loss of a retail unit, but reuse a long-standing vacant building.

“It is noted that the applicant stated the previous use was a pet shop, however this does not align with the established planning history of the site.

“This type of high footfall business is encouraged in town centres and supports the town centre first approach.”

However the planners decided to refuse the change of use saying it would “change the character of this area by bringing a higher than expected footfall commercial use into a largely secluded, residential area and detract materially from the existing character of this area.

“The proposal would result in the loss of privacy to the amenity ground of the occupants of the flatted properties in the area by bringing members of the public into a generally private area as well as a perceived impact on security in this area and overlooking to the flatted dwellings.”

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