Grass strip no use to ‘man or beast’ says councillor

Tuesday May 14th 2024

Danderhall Strip of grass

Owner of house at Neatoune Drive has been given go ahead to replace wall with fence.


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A strip of grass at the side of a house which planners described as ‘communal land’ is being used as a litter bin and dog toilet, the home owner says.

The owner of the property applied for planning permission to put a fence around the perimeter of his garden, which included the grass strip which is currently outside a wall built when the house was built at the estate in Danderhall.

But while Midlothian planners insisted the two-metre wide strip was part of the communal landscaping on the estate, the owner of the house pointed out it was part of his property.

And he said leaving the strip which is separated from the pavement by hedging outside the wall was creating a problem.

In an appeal to Midlothian Council’s Local Review Body, the home owner’s agent said: “Currently the combination of hedge and wall incorrectly signals that the grass strip is outwith the property boundary.

“This ambiguity results in the grass strip being used as a litter bin and a dog toilet by passers-by. In the future, the hedge will be higher and the ill-conceived narrow strip of grass, owned by the applicant will become a security risk to the occupants of the house.”

The Local Review Body heard that planners had refused permission for the fence saying it would have a ‘significant detrimental impact on the character and appearance’ of the site.

But the home owner’s agent said the decision was ‘absurd’ adding: “The applicant simply wishes to erect a fence on their garden boundary to the side of their house and remove the ill-conceived wall within their garden.

“This would allow them to safely maintain the grass strip, with the existing visibility at the junction retained.”

At a meeting of the Local Review Body, Councillor Connor McManus, pointed out the owner of the house knew the plot when he bought it.

He said: “I can understand they want to extend their garden space, but you choose your plot on these developments and you know what you are getting.”

However Councillor Colin Cassidy said the strip of grass was no use “to man nor beast”.

He said: “The people want to increase the size of their garden, they have a young family. They are hemmed in there with a piece of ground that os no use to man nor beast and is growing wild now because they have lost heart in it.”

And Councillor Kelly Drummond said: “There is much better use of the garden and that space and I don’t necessarily see the issue with a fence.”

The review body voted by five votes to two to uphold the appeal and allow the fence to be built.

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