Slice of bad luck for Tranent homeowner in row over outdoor pizza oven

A complaint over an outdoor pizza oven led to planners ordering a family to remove an enclosed patio area, despite no objections being lodged.
The house at the centre of the rowThe house at the centre of the row
The house at the centre of the row

The owners of a property on Winton Court, Tranent, enclosed their outdoor patio with a roof and fencing, as well as installing an outdoor fireplace, without planning permission.

However, a complaint to environmental health last June about the use of the fire as a pizza oven led to planners demanding a retrospective application for the changes to the garden, which was then refused.

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And it sparked a row between planners and the property owners over what was the ‘front’ of a property and what was the ‘side’.

Agent Joanna Tonska appealed to Scottish Ministers to overturn the decision, arguing that the way the houses were built, in a cul de sac, made the council’s claim that the fence was in the front garden questionable.

The local authority has an open front garden policy but the agent said that the patio could be considered at the side of the house, pointing to other properties in the cul de sac with similar fencing in place.

The property, at No 5, has a front garden, with the patio built to the right-hand side of it.

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The agent said: “[The] house is not in a conservation area. Not one neighbour opposed the development.

“Design of all buildings on the street and their relationship to the road doesn’t define clearly where is the front of these properties and where is the side.

“Therefore this development proposal is not harmful [and] is setting better standards for the look of the area.”

The appeal to Scottish Ministers has been dismissed as without remit and the applicants informed it should go before the council’s Local Review Body instead.

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The council’s environmental health department said that it became aware of the external fireplace in June last year when it received a single complaint that it was being used as a pizza oven.

It said that even if a chimney, which planning permission was also applied for, were added, its use “could impact upon the amenity of neighbouring residential properties due to the smell of smoke and cooking odours from it”.

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