Homeowner ordered by council to paint pink door a different colour

Miranda Dickson issued enforcement notice as her door is not 'in keeping with the historic character' of the building.

Edinburgh mum told by council to paint her pink door in the New Town a ‘more suitable colour’ Miranda Dickson

A woman has been ordered by a city council to change the colour of her pink front door.

Edinburgh City Council issued Miranda Dickson with an enforcement notice after the local authority received a complaint.

She was told to paint her door a “more appropriate colour” as the council doesn’t deem the current pink shade to be “in keeping with the historic character and appearance” of the listed building in the New Town.

“It appears to have caused outrage and distress for one person,” Ms Dickson told STV News.

“It’s all a bit silly. I keep thinking ‘this is crazy’ and they cannot provide me with a list of ‘heritage’ colours. I’ve already been to buy a more muted pink with the intention of repainting the door, but it just never happened due to the weather.”

Ms Dickson, 48, recently moved back to Edinburgh from overseas following the death of her mother. She has spent the last 18 months renovating her parents’ former house on Drummond Place, which they bought in 1981.

The work included restoration on the building’s Georgian architecture and painting the front door pink in December 2021.

Shortly afterwards, Ms Dickson received a letter from the council saying someone had complained and that she was obliged to change it to a “more suitable’ colour”.

“There is no transparency on the council website about who made the complaint,” she said. “I asked if they could provide me with a list of colours deemed suitable and they told me any ‘dark or muted’ colour.”

Ms Dickson, who lives with her two children, also asked why she appeared to be getting singled out when other doors in the New Town had bright colours.

“It’s because nobody complained about them,” she said. “If I set up my computer and make a complaint about other people in the area, will they be asked to paint their doors?

“I hadn’t heard anything more about it until October 7. That’s when the council changed their strategy and said I had contravened a planning law and that I hadn’t applied to paint the door in the first place.

“I was also told I had to paint the door white, which has incensed me even further. It’s confusing because white is not a muted colour. Not everyone has their front door painted white.

“The neighbours on either side of me have painted their doors in recent times, are they picking on me because they started off on this silly discussion about colour?”

Ms Dickson says people often stop to take photographs of her front door as they are passing by, and the property has its own Instagram account.

“The bottom line is it brings me joy and happiness at a time when things are a little grey and tough,” she said. “So many people stop and take photographs of it and tell me how much they love it and how it makes them smile.

“You can hear people say ‘oh, it looks so lovely’, but there are some people who huff and puff and say it shouldn’t be allowed.

“But clearly there is craziness and clear mismanagement from the council about the situation – there is no way there is a process of dark muted enforcement. Are they going to every front door in Edinburgh?”

Ms Dickson has appealed the council’s decision and is also retrospectively applying for planning permission.

“I don’t want to paint my door white,” she said. “I want to paint it dark red now.

“It’s just strange to me that somebody has the energy to complain about someone else’s front door. I’m lucky to live in such a beautiful area and I am respectful in that I have spent a lot of money and energy maintaining the property.

“It’s not like I’m acting like a hooligan or taking it lightly – that is not me. What are they going to do? Are they going to put me in prison for painting my front door?”

Edinburgh City Council confirmed it had issued Ms Dickson with an enforcement notice.

A spokesperson said: “The colour of the door is not in keeping with the historic character and appearance of this listed building in the New Town, part of our World Heritage Site.

“The owner agreed the door would be repainted, but as this work has not been carried out, we are taking enforcement action requiring them to repaint the door.”

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