Garden claims challenged in flat appeal

Wednesday March 15th 2023


The house in Glenview Road, Gorebridge.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A bid to turn a four bedroom house into two flats should have been approved because a third of Scots now live alone, it has been claimed.

Plans to convert the house in Gorebridge, Midlothian into the two bedroom homes were rejected by council planners who argued the garden space would be too small.

Objectors also claimed they would bring increased antisocial behaviour to the area.

But in a statement of appeal lodged with Scottish Ministers this week, applicant Andrew Wesley insisted the flats would have 50 square metres of rear garden space each, which is enough.

And he said demand for one bedroom housing should outweigh concerns about the gardens.

He said: “We would also like to report a quote made in the Scottish media that states there is a huge social requirement for one bedroom affordable living accommodation and that currently 30 per cent of the Scottish population now lives alone so the need for this sized property outweighs any potential impact the proposals may have.

“We believe this proposal should be granted and would provide some well needed affordable living accommodation in the local area.”

The proposals for the house on Glenview Road, drew six objections from local residents in the modern housing estate when first lodged with Midlothian council planners.

One argued that there were already 24 one bedroom flats in the area and no need for more, while another said that flats were more likely to create antisocial behaviour than houses.

One objection lodged with Midlothian council planners said: “My experience of creating flats from houses is that it increases antisocial behaviour in the vicinity of the road which is normally quiet and relaxing.”

Planners ruled that the decision to make the garden of the house a shared space for two flats meant there would not be enough amenity for the new residents.

However Mr Wesley said in his appeal: “The rear can be split into two separate 50m2 private gardens which is more than adequate for the proposed occupancy.”

Scottish Ministers ruled they have no remit to look at the appeal advising Mr Wesley’s agents to take it to the council’s local review body for a decision.

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