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Planning row spells ruin for Gorebridge home

January 12 2023

Planning row spells ruin for Gorebridge home

A planning row in Gorebridge, Midlothian, could see a newly built home demolished over a projecting roofline thought to be detrimental to the character of the town.

Midlothian Council initially refused consent to David and Dawn Allan in 2017, arguing that the design by Liston Architects was neither traditional nor a sufficiently high-quality contemporary design.

This was subsequently overturned by a follow-up application in 2018, swapping white render for stone and a timber and glass screen. The home was duly built in 2020 only for the owners to discover that a building warrant had been issued in error by the council.

Outlining the situation in an appeal to the Scottish Government Dawn Allan wrote: "In 2019 I was issued with a building warrant and a letter to confirm I could proceed with the construction. My builders built the house according to this warrant plan with a few changes made along the way for which we submitted retrospective planning.

"It was discovered during this application that the building warrant was granted in error by Midlothian Council as the planning had not in fact been granted to accompany it. This was only discovered once the house was built in 2020."

Midlothian Council has now served an enforcement notice on the property as the building does not comply with the approved plans. The owners now have until 20 April to make the required changes or else demolish the building by 20 June. 


#1 Posted by alibi on 12 Jan 2023 at 09:42 AM
I did wonder about this one - I've passed it a few times recently and assumed it was a village hall or nursery.

The developer is wrong however. The planning and building standards processes are separate regulatory regimes. It is the responsibility of developers to ensure their developments are in compliance with both. Press articles are suggesting the Council erred in granting a Building Warrant that did not reflect approved planning drawings, which is incorrect. On the contrary, if the warrant drawings satisfied the Scottish Building Standards, I'm not sure what grounds the Council would have had to refuse them.
#2 Posted by TheFakeArchitect on 12 Jan 2023 at 10:02 AM
Yip seems a bit of a confusing article, particularly with the applicants comments which would suggest they either don't understand the process or dare I say are at it.. At the end of the day you could get Building Warrant approval for a skyscraper on the land, but that doesn't mean you will get Planning permission. Which does raise a valid point whether the both should indeed be intertwined to avoid such a scenario.
kenny kitchens
#3 Posted by kenny kitchens on 12 Jan 2023 at 11:31 AM
Yeah, knock it down and rebuild it to compliment the "high-quality contemporary design" of the approved housing to the rear.
#4 Posted by Lovely on 12 Jan 2023 at 13:12 PM
Not much point in having rules if you don't enforce them. Of course it would be better to have softer more intelligent rules that are properly applied rather than harsh inconsistent rules patchily applied. Am sure they will be somehow let off which then begs the question why should anyone follow these rules?
Nairn's Bairn
#5 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 12 Jan 2023 at 15:36 PM
As #1 said - it certainly reads as though there was no "error" on the Council's part.

The owner applied for a Building Warrant for a certain proposal (obviously different from what they had Planning Permission for), and it was granted.

They failed to apply for a Building Warrant (or Amendment to Warrant) that reflects what they have PP for. On their own head be it - and don't try to blame the local authority.

Public details on the Midlothian Council website, address 10 Kirkhill Terrace, Gorebridge:
Nairn's Bairn
#6 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 12 Jan 2023 at 15:42 PM
Interestingly they appear to have changed agent for the Warrant stage which presumably didn't help.
John Taylor
#7 Posted by John Taylor on 13 Jan 2023 at 10:35 AM
Poor reporting stating "that a building warrant had been issued in error by the council"

As comment #1 - the warrant was issued correctly based upon the information provided. It's the applicant's fault that they decided to instruct their agents to produce Building Warrant information that was at variance to their planning consent.

These people are at it, trying to paint themselves as the victims of a council administration 'error'!
#8 Posted by Cearcall on 13 Jan 2023 at 11:45 AM
If all else fails, it could be sold to Aldi.

An absolute horror of a building. Massive footprint, no real amenity space, large expanse of flat roof. This is the sort of decision that gives planning a bad name. You have to wonder why it was even considered to be anything other than an outright refusal.
#9 Posted by rankbadyin on 13 Jan 2023 at 11:50 AM
The same council that had no qualms in approving the dinky doo houses in the background?
#10 Posted by Matt on 13 Jan 2023 at 15:19 PM
Why would a prof' firm either A. procure a BW for a design that has no planning permission when they must have known the situation. B do this even if the client wanted to take the risk after advising them!?

Check it out on Google maps's utterly enormous, and quite amusing...
Gorebridge/ opposite Povert RD.
Garry Fleming
#11 Posted by Garry Fleming on 1 Feb 2023 at 17:54 PM
The house certainly is big but the only people that see it are driving past and you hardly notice it ,all the houses on that road are different from each other . The new builds surrounding the house are ugly and cheep looking but the big builders seem to be able to build whatever they can make the most money from and Morrisons super market in Dalkeith is a horror not to mention the traffic congestion with cars trying to get in and out . But the Midlothian council take great pleasure in making life difficult for anyone trying to put up an extension in their back garden that only a few people can even see . They have lost Control a long time ago . you can’t even change your windows without a battle and putting more cash into their coffers .

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