An Edinburgh cabbie who wants to build a bungalow in his garden to help house his adult children has appealed after planners refused permission for it to go ahead.
Jimmy Scally was told his plans for the two-bedroom home next to his house in Cousland, Midlothian, did not provide enough garden space for the new tenants – even though plans show the garden is bigger than the house itself.
Desperate dad Mr Scally said all he is trying to do is help his grown-up family, with two of them on a council waiting list for a house and one daughter living in Spain because it is cheaper than staying in Scotland.
He and his wife Janice moved into their three-bedroom house in the village with their 18-year-old son last year.
However a breakdown in their 30-year-old son’s relationship meant he has had to move home while waiting for a house of his own and their two grandchildren also come to stay with their dad.
Mr Scally had hoped the new bungalow would give his older son a place to stay as well as another daughter who is currently in emergency housing in West Lothian while waiting for a house.
He said: “It is virtually impossible for young people to get on the property ladder these days and even finding somewhere to rent is too expensive.
“One of my daughters is a trainee paramedic and has finished up and gone to Spain for three months because it is cheaper to live there than try and do it here.
“I have the cash to build a bungalow to help my children and take them off the waiting lists but am frustrated that planners seemed to be fixated on the garden space, and got it wrong.”
Midlothian planners said they received 16 objections to the plans for the new bungalow along with two letters of support.
Objectors claimed the garden was not big enough for a new house, trees would be removed affecting local wildlife and the bungalow would be out of character with the rest of the street.
They also raised concerns about the impact on parking and in a report on the application, the planning officer said that only one parking space was included in the plans but council policy required 2.5 spaces for a three apartment home.
Mr Scally said the plans had been revised to create two car spaces in the drive for the new bungalow but he said planners had got it wrong over the garden.
Planners said the rear garden of the new house would be 73 square metres with a “small area of garden ground to the front and sides of the proposed dwelling” adding “The council’s standard requires that houses of three apartments have usable garden ground no less than 110m²”.
However he said the plans showed that the rear garden was 84 square metres and the ‘small’ front garden was 31 square metres.
He added: “When the side garden space is added it is 190 square metres of garden – double the size of the bungalow and well above what is required.
“But now I’ve been told only the rear garden counts. It is frustrating, they seem to be changing the goalposts to suit their decision to refuse.”
The council refused planning permission saying it had not been demonstrated that the new house would “not be subject to substandard levels of amenity with a garden size smaller than that required for a modern dwellinghouse”.
They added that the proposed bungalow failed to “connect visually to the character, appearance and layout of the area”.
The Local Review Body will meet next month to hear the appeal.