Homeowner wins appeal after ‘sacrificing’ garage for extension

Monday December 11th 2023

Newton Village

The house in Newton Village.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A pair of homeowners have won their fight to build an extension in their back garden after councillors were impressed they were willing to ‘sacrifice’ their garage.

Ross and Lisa McPhee appealed to Midlothian Council’s Local Review Body after planners rejected their plans for a new front porch and rear extension claiming the extension would be ‘out of character’ with the area.

They argued that other properties in Newton Village, where they live have similar extensions and challenged claims it would harm the character of the street saying there was “nothing of architectural interest” there.

A meeting of the review body today backed the couple after members visited the street and were told the couple’s garage would be replaced by the extension in the garden.

The original planning application for the extension and porch was refused by officers who said its design was out of character, against policy and would have an overbearing impact on the neighbour’s garden.

Councillor Peter Smaill, review body member, said that in his view replacing the garage with the extension would not have an impact on the street and moved a motion to uphold the appeal and grant planning permission.

He was backed by Councillor Willie McEwan who said: “The visit to the site was very important to me because when I witnessed the sacrifice of the garage, the owner giving up the garage for the extension.

“Had it not been for the sacrifice of the garage I might not have been so sympathetic.”

Councillor Cassidy made the point in the meeting that it was important for councillors to visit the sites of planning applications to get a clearer view of what is being applied for rather than just relying on documentation. He said

“What we see out there is a completely different representation from what you get on paper.”

The appeal was upheld unanimously.

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