Objection forces homeowner to ditch door for rotting one

Margaret Cherry with her new front door
Margaret Cherry with her new front door
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A HOMEOWNER has been left stunned after being ordered to restore a rotting door at the front of her property, after council officials said it was part of the homes’ “historic fabric”.

Retired Margaret Cherry replaced the door at the cottage in Colinton last year to improve security and insulation.

A neighbour's house still has the old-style front door

A neighbour's house still has the old-style front door

But she has now been given an enforcement notice to remove a new £1000 door from the property in Colinton, following a complaint by a neighbour.

She had taken down the original black door because it blocked light from entering her Spylaw Street property, and was rotting because of its age.

Following a complaint, however, the council ordered her to re-hang the original door, and now the Scottish Government department which ruled on Donald Trump’s Aberdeenshire golfing development and the controversial 17-storey Tiger hotel at Haymarket has upheld that decision.

The 55-year-old said she was furious at the ruling, particularly as others in the area have altered doors more radically.

When approached by the Evening News she said: “I don’t understand the planning reporter. It is unfair they can make this ruling on the basis of one person’s complaint.

“I’ve even been told that they would not have bothered doing it if there hadn’t been any objections. I appreciate this is an area of conservation, but I have put in a perfectly good door, of excellent quality, when I look out at buildings which are falling to pieces and have grass growing out the chimney.”

She added that the new door had allowed more light into the home and improved the insulation. And she said it made her feel more secure, pointing out that it also appears similar to other black doors in the street.

“I invested significant amounts of money buying this place and making improvements to it,” she said. “I have respect for the authority, but I won’t be taken for a mug.

“I bought this as a home for me to grow old and retire in, and letting some light into it through the glass in the door is an important part of that.

“If I have to put in a solid black door, it will be depressing. I’d need to reconsider staying.”

The city council made the initial ruling, which was then referred to the Scottish Government planning office. It was prompted by a complaint from a resident, complemented by a further submission from another individual not from the area who claimed to have an interest in conservation.

Planning reporter Dannie Onn, who has given Ms Cherry six weeks to find and pay for a new door, said: “Removal of the door has robbed the building of part of its historic fabric.

“That is a serious loss, because it is unlikely that it could ever be found. It has changed the appearance of the cottage such that it is now at odds with the rest of the terrace.

“The appellant says the door had some rot in it. That may have been so, and it might also have been fitted poorly. Nevertheless, these are generally problems that can be readily corrected without wholesale replacement.”