Gorebridge builders yard appeals to Scottish Ministers

Tuesday August 2nd 2022


Site at Gorebridge where Peter Joyce and Son are based.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

The operator of a builders yard which employs up to 17 people has appealed to Scottish Ministers to stop Midlothian Council shutting it down.

Peter Joyce and Son bought land at Ashbank, outside Gorebridge, last year to expand the business but was refused planning permission by Midlothian Council to change the use of the site from vacant land to a yard and ordered to close down.

Local residents complained rats from the site had been driven onto their land by work on it and alleged council workers were moonlighting on the site as well as accusing the operator of damaging phone lines and fencing.

Operator Rory Joyce denied all the allegations and accused council planners of putting “lies above jobs”.

An appeal to the council’s Local Review Body by the firm was rejected and an enforcement notice service last month demanding the land is returned to how it looked before the firm put shipping units in and hardstanding down.

Now Mr Joyce, who has taken over the running of the firm from dad Peter, has appealed the notice to Scottish Ministers.

He has insisted when he bought the site it was a “scrapyard” and already in use as industrial land.

In his appeal Mr Joyce said the firm had used the land to store materials and provide off street parking for a number of years before buying it from its previous owner.

He said: “We walked past this site daily with our family dog for 13 years and this site has always been industrial.

“This purchase then provided us with additional storage and off street parking for our many commercial vehicles and open yard space to accommodate our growing family business where we currently employ seventeen local residents including five apprentices at various stages of there careers.”

He added that while the site had shipping containers on it currently discussions have been going on over designing more permanent premises.

He said: “We feel this application has been unfairly refused as currently within a few metres we have several other business’s operating from similar type yards .”

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