A stock car racing enthusiast has been allowed to keep the large garage he built without planning permission – despite neighbours’ complaints about noise and fears it could be used commercially.
On Wednesday, members of Falkirk Council’s planning committee granted retrospective permission for the domestic garage in the garden of a property in Dunipace’s Allan Crescent.
Members had heard that the applicant only intends to use the new garage for his hobby.
However, several neighbours objected to the structure, with 19 people signing a petition against it, saying they believe he intends to transfer his business from High Bonnybridge to his home.
Other complaints included claims of excessive noise and disturbance to neighbours – sometimes as late as 3am – and concerns about air pollution.
Councillors also heard that there had been inappropriate parking on green space close to the house.
However, members were told that these issues would have to be dealt with separately from the planning application, because it is not a business.
Air pollution and noise issues will be looked at by the council’s environmental protection unit and its conflict resolution team while the housing department is looking into the parking problems.
Some neighbours also objected to the height of the garage, saying it was blocking out light but planning officers said that they did not consider the height of the structure was harmful to neighbours’ privacy or light.
The council’s flooding team also objected, but officers said given the size of the garage and the fact there is an existing flood wall they do not think the risk is significant.
Before the meeting, members of the planning committee had been out to the site to see it for themselves and they were reminded that the only reason the garage needs planning permission at all is because of its height.
But they took on board the neighbours’ worries and agreed to add a condition that a noise mitigation scheme should be agreed between the application and the council.
They also stressed formally that any change of use to become commercial would need to be approved in a separate planning application.
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