Homes approved despite overdevelopment concerns near conservation area

Landscape officers expressed ‘disappointment’ that a previous application had been approved.

Family homes approved despite overdevelopment concerns near Gullane conservation area in East Lothian LDRS

Planners have given the go ahead for four family homes to be built on former garden land filled with “unexceptional” trees outside a village conservation area in East Lothian.

The proposals by Creo Homes Ltd, for the site in Gullane, brought four objections and concerns from the local community council.

And the local authority’s own landscape officers expressed ‘disappointment’ that a previous application to build on the land, off Hamilton Road, had been approved.

A report by planners said the site had previously been given the go ahead for housing on a number of occasions over the last 17 years.

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The most recent planning permission was granted in 2020 however, it said, the applicant had passed away and a new proposal was brought forward for four bedroom homes on the land.

The new proposal would see dozens of trees, which were described as overgrown, removed to make room for the houses.

The planning officers report said that despite the council’s landscape officers objecting to the removal of trees in the 2020 application which they said would be detrimental to the amenity of the area, planning permission had been granted.

It said: “The council’s landscape officer has been consulted on the current application and has advised that he is disappointed that the previous application was granted to allow all trees to be removed and that the landscape position remains unchanged.”

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The report added that the applicant had submitted a tree survey report which said: “The trees on the site are unexceptional. Most of the tree cover is groups of trees, apparently planted as garden trees in the 1970s which have restricted value as groups and no value as individuals.”

Gullane Area Community Council said that while they supported the type of infill development proposed by the applicant they were concerned that it appeared “over-development”.

They pointed to a lack of car parking spaces included in the plans adding the site was close to a school crossing and medical centre adding it seemed to them to “create an unacceptable level of hazard”.

Despite concerns planners approved the plans, pointing out that precedent had already been set by previous applications for housing on the site being given the go ahead.