Tuesday June 20th 2023
Photograph shows applicant's white car fitting into driveway but neighbours car overhanging pavement.
A homeowners driveway is being investigated by council officials for being too short – after their neighbour challenged the council over her own parking space.
Michelle Watson had applied to Midlothian Council to remove a condition on her planning permission for her new driveway which called for it to be extended by 60cm.
She even provided photographs showing her car fitting into the drive which she argued was the same as others in the area.
However the image also showed a neighbour’s car overhanging the pavement and it was revealed officers who visited Ms Watson’s home as part of the initial decision had asked enforcement officers to look at the neighbouring drive as well.
And Ms Watson has been ordered to extend her driveway or face enforcement action, after councillors described it as a ‘tight fit’ even for a compact car.
The original application for retrospective planning permission for the driveway on Braeside Road South, Gorebridge, was approved with a condition calling for it to be lengthened from 4.2m to 4.8m to ensure vehicles did not stick out onto the pavement.
Ms Watson appealed to the council’s Local Review Body to remove the condition, arguing her car fitted fully into the smaller drive and providing photographs showing it parked.
She said: “The driveway in my property is identical to the ones which are nearby.
“The vehicle I own safely fits the driveway space available. I believe the modifications mentioned is cosmetic and superficial. There is a pipeline laid in front of the house, which will prevent any demolition of the wall.
“This type of small scale building work does not have a significant impact on the character of the house, the visual amenity of the area or the amenity of the neighbouring houses.”
However planners said: “The length of the drive at 4.2m is much less than the standard 6m and may result in parked vehicles overhanging and obstructing the public footway, resulting in pedestrians being required to walk on the carriageway.
“This was clearly evident during the case officer’s site visit in relation to the driveway which had been constructed next door where a car was seen to overhanging the pavement.
“That drive is 4.2m long rather than the approved 6m. This will be passed on to the council’s enforcement team to investigate.”
Councillor Kelly Drummond called on the review body to reject the appeal after members visited the driveway earlier in the day.
She told members: “There is a reason they have the guidelines. It is beyond tight with the compact car that was at the residence so anything any bigger would have been severely overhanging.”
And Councillor Dianne Alexander added: “Even with a smaller car I think anyone going along (the pavement) who was blind or even with a stick it might be a hazard for them.”
The review body unanimously rejected the appeal. Ms Watson now has three months to carry out the changes or face enforcement action.Tweet Share on Facebook