A homeowner’s bid to escape the sound of ambulance sirens as they go past his bedroom has failed after Scottish Ministers ruled preserving history was more important than convenience.
The owner of the old smithy cottage, north of Danderhall, appealed to Scottish Ministers after Midlothian Council refused to give the go ahead to a dormer extension on a lean-to.
His agents argued the 19th century cottage provided “sub-standard” bedroom space with the noise of ambulances on the A7 clearly heard.
Architects for the householder wanted Listed Building Consent to install the large dormer to create more space at the side of the home.
However, the Scottish Government Reporter dismissed their claims that the changes would add richness to the property, which has seen extensions added over the years.
Instead, he ruled that preserving the view of the original property was more important.
He said: “Although its internal layout may not be the most convenient for its current occupants, I have seen no indication to suggest that, if I were to refuse to grant listed building consent, the host building would cease to be habitable.”
On behalf of the homeowner, architect Crighton Wood argued that the changes to the property at Smithy Green Cottages, Old Dalkeith Road, would enhance it.
He said: “In my own opinion the curved dormer adds a unique richness to this layered building, that has been substantially altered through the years and gives an individual design response that creates a sustainable solution for the client.”
Appealing against the council’s decision to refuse Listed Building Consent, he added: “The house is challenged by having one half of the ground floor being built into the slope to the north which supports the very busy A7 , which is also is one of the main routes in for ambulances coming from the south to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
“The design strategy is to re-design the existing bedroom over the living space to create two new bedrooms that have much improved qualities of natural light and acoustic privacy.”
Rejecting the appeal, the Scottish Government Reporter ruled the proposed dormer would distract any onlookers’ attention away from the “clean simplicity of the angular construction of the gables, walls, roof, and chimneys of the host building, which is typical of a Scottish vernacular dwelling of its period”.
He added: “I find that the proposed dormer would fail to preserve the character and special architectural interest of the host building.”
By local democracy reporter Marie Sharp
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