Retired couple appeal after 'large' extension plans rejected

Mark and Mandy Bradford applied for permission to add more living space to their house as well as a garage and workshop area.

Retired couple appeal for more space to ‘enjoy their home’ after ‘large’ extension plans rejected LDRS

A retired couple are appealing to councillors after they were refused permission to extend their home because planners said the addition was too big.

Mark and Mandy Bradford applied for permission to add more living space to their house on Gardiner Road, Prestonpans, as well as a garage and workshop area.

Planners rejected their application saying the extension would have a footprint that would be “disproportionately large” compared to the house and would be “over development”.

However in an appeal due to go before East Lothian Council’s Local Review Body, the couple say the reason for refusal was never mentioned during discussions with planners.

Instead, they claim, planning officers told them the extension would not leave enough garden space but when they asked how much space was required to be left, they were not given a response.

They say: “Through subsequent correspondence where we tried to quantify the extent/percentage of the rear garden space and ask for advice/guidance as to what percentage the planning department might find acceptable, no such advice or guidance was offered, and we were told to simply offer up revised proposals for review.

“As you will appreciate, without a clear steer it is very difficult to focus any such alternative proposals around and it simply results in a stabbing in the dark exercise which had no chance of appearing favourable whatsoever.”

Urging councillors to overturn their officers’ decision, Mr Bradford said he and his wife have lived in the house for 35 years and were looking forward to enjoying their retirement in it.

He said: “We now spend far more time here and made the decision to modify the house to suit our needs more. We have historically carried out work on the house with a view to having to never move.

“The sustainable heating systems were fitted to help keep costs down in our retired years and the work laid out in front of you now is aimed purely at making the house more suitable to us now.

“The expansion of the rear house area creates a day space inside the kitchen area which allows vast amounts of light into what is a dark area of the house, currently underused.

“We thought out this plan with our architect and hoped it would be seen as a great improvement to the house and were quite amazed when it was refused for what felt like arbitrary reasons.”

The Local Review Body will hear the appeal later this month.

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