Short driveway gets go ahead with warning

Monday September 25th 2023

dundas bonnyrigg

Owner of house on Dundas Street, Bonnyrigg, wants to put a driveway in front garden.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A homeowner has won his fight to put a driveway in his front garden despite it being ruled ‘too short’ after it was revealed one of his neighbour’s had a near identical one in place.

Robert Gyorgy, from Dundas Street, Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, wanted to create the parking space at the front on his mid-terraced home arguing that neighbouring properties had been able to do it.

However planners ruled the proposed driveway, which would be 4.6 metres long was too short and could lead to vehicles overhanging the pavement creating a hazard for pedestrians.

Officers said standard driveways required to be 6 metres long to ensure vehicles could fully fit into them.

But at a meeting of Midlothian Council’s Local Review Body, elected members sympathised with Mr Gyorgy’s plight after discovering a neighbour a few doors away already had a driveway fitted into the exact same space.

And concerns were raised about an increasing demand for driveways as electric cars become more common and people want to charge them outside their homes.

Councillor Derek Milligan said the council’s move towards net zero could mean a change in policy will be needed.

He said: “I think we may have to review our policy on driveways and their length as more people want to park in front of their homes and charge electric vehicles at home.”

Councillors were reminded the application by Mr Gyorgy was not for an electric vehicle.

Planners refused permission for the driveway arguing the 4.6 metre length could lead to vehicles overhanging the pavement outside the garden.

The review body was told it was not clear whether the neighbouring driveway had planning permission or was built at a time when policy did not require the current length.

Planning head Peter Arnsdorf told the meeting councillors could approve the new drive accepting the neighbouring one or refuse and ask officers to investigate the other one.

However councillors unanimously granted the appeal after agreeing to include a note to the applicant that any vehicle parked in the new drive must not overhang the footpath.

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