Planners have approved plans for a Prestwick bungalow that is less than 4m wide but 32 metres from front to back.
One objector complained that it could end up looking like ‘a 1980s public convenience’ if the white ‘dazzling’ finish originally included in the plan was not maintained.
The unusual design is required as the house will be built on a narrow strip of land at Adamton Road South in Prestwick, which is currently home to a dilapidated former scout hut and a garage.
It doesn’t quite reach the skinny standards of the world’s narrowest homes, of which one of the most famous, the 1.19m wide ‘The Wedge’, in Millport.
But many similar properties make up for space by being on multiple levels or, like The Wedge, widen the further in you go.
The Prestwick design is even more unusual as, rather than go up, it goes back, essentially a long corridor divided into rooms, including two bedrooms, a kitchen/dining area, living room and courtyard.
In a design statement published as part of the application, the architects ARPL state: “Forming a long rectangular plot the site is over 70m long and only 5m wide.
“As the site is an unconventional shape there are a number of clear issues to deal with when developing a proposal.
“Building close to the boundary to maximise the usable space clearly highlights the issue of over shadowing the neighbouring properties.
“The building proposal builds close to the northern boundary where the existing Scout hut sits and a neighbouring garden building forms a barrier to this elevation.”
They add that the design creates a visual ‘break’ in the form of the building matching the two existing buildings.
“The scale of the proposed building is smaller and less dominant than the surrounding dwellings which will enable the overall massing to be consistent with the structures in all of the rear gardens to the surrounding houses.
“Windows are predominantly situated on the front and rear elevations or screened to make sure there is no over looking of the neighbours gardens whilst maintaining a level of privacy for the new dwelling.
“The use of roof lights and central courtyard allow light to enter the building were traditional windows are too close to the boundary or compromise privacy.”
Objections related to concerns that the house is uncharacteristic of surrounding homes, that it would ‘adversely affect the amenity’ by overshadowing neighbours, it would create road safety issues and that it would be used as a rental home.
Others said it would impact the habitat for ‘birds, foxes and bats and that the originally white finish would ‘dazzle’ and, ‘if not properly maintained, give the dwellinghouse the appearance of a 1980’s public convenience’.
Planners pointed out that the white finish had been replaced.
While acknowledging the fact that the design doesn’t fit into standard restrictions around housing development, it provides a way to bring the derelict land back into use.
Officers said: “Given the constraints of the site, it would not be possible to erect a dwellinghouse that replicates the design, massing or scale of other, more traditional, properties in the locale.
“This, however, does not mean that a dwellinghouse of the design, massing and scale proposed cannot be accommodated within the site.
“Any potential for damage to boundary walls is a private legal matter between the parties concerned.”
They concluded: “Whilst the dwelling house does not reflect the traditional building style of the immediate locale, it is considered that the proposals represent the best design solution given the significant site constraints, and represent the positive redevelopment of a difficult brownfield site and enhancement of the streetscape.”
The application was approved under delegated powers.