Owner gets go ahead to extend garden into Loanhead cemetery

Monday February 20th 2023


The land at Loanhead Cemetery will be turned into private garden despite objections.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

The owners of a house which backs onto a graveyard have been given the go ahead to extend their garden into its land.

Scot and Melissa Napier applied for the change of use of the land at Loanhead Cemetery into private garden space.

The plans brought objections from Loanhead Community Council who said the land in question, which lies beside the cemetery car park was used by the public.

And private objectors protested the decision of Midlothian Council to sell “plots of public land to individuals…at the public expense”

The community council said the land, which lies off Hunter Avenue in the town and is backed onto by Mavisbank Grange, is “well used and treasured” by residents.

They said: “There is very little public amenity open space within this part of Loanhead and what public open space there is, including this public open space, is well used and treasured by residents.

“We strive to preserve public open spaces for everyone to enjoy, which in turn, promotes positive well-being and health.

“We must preserve our open public spaces for generations to come and therefore, we object to the loss of public trees, public shrubbery and public open space proposed within this planning application.”

In the planning officers’ report they acknowledged “a number of trees/ shrubs that were growing north of the existing boundary fence have been removed from the council-owned open space without permission”.

However the planning officer said: “Although the retention of public open space for public use is preferred, in this case the loss of a small area of open space for the use of garden space for residential properties will not significantly alter the character of the area.

“The open space is of a size and location which reduces its ability to be of a valuable asset to the surrounding area.”

The council received two private objections and one representation in support of the application which was approved by officers.

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