Drone image shows cottage dwarved by new housing

Tuesday April 18th 2023


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Aerial images of a 19th century cottage which has been surrounded by new housing in a Midlothian village have helped convince councillors to allow a new extension.

Applicant Colin McCurdy had been refused planning permission for an extension to the cottage, which would see a first floor extension added with picture windows and additional ground floor space.

Planners argued the new first floor windows would look into the rear gardens of new housing.

However agents for the applicant said the drone images showed the traditional stone cottage in Rosewell, which dates back to 1894, had been ‘subsumed’ by the new housing development.

And they argued the new homes were ‘overbearing’ and looked directly into the cottage’s garden.

Mr McCurdy had appealed to Midlothian Council’s Local Review Body urging members to visit the site of the cottage and see the surrounding development.

And at a meeting of the review body yesterday, members who visited the site on Gorton Loan earlier in the day were impressed with the work Mr McCurdy was carrying out to retain the traditional stone use in the original cottage.

Councillor Willie McEwen told the meeting: “He could have gone down the path of more modern material but has opted for the traditional stone.”

Fellow councillor Connor McManus agreed adding; “It is really refreshing to see someone take an old building and be so sympathetic to its character.”

And he referred to the surrounding housing in his decision saying: “I don’t have an issue with this application just on the grounds it is surrounded by a modern development and, if anything, the modern development overlooks the cottage that already existed there.”

Councillor Peter Smaill said he had initially had concerns about first floor picture windows in the proposed extension but the angle meant they would not look directly into neighbouring gardens.

He added: “I think there is a question of overlooking on both sides and after a while everyone will learn to live with each other.”

The review body unanimously upheld the appeal against the decision by planning officers and granted permission for the new extension.

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