East Lothian home owners thwarted in attempts to escape neighbours’ noise and cigarettes stench

An East Lothian couple who want to build a roof terrace on top of their beach town home claim it will allow them to escape smoking neighbours.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 4:45 pm
The couple want to build a roof terrace on top of their beach town home to allow them to escape smoking neighbours.
The couple want to build a roof terrace on top of their beach town home to allow them to escape smoking neighbours.

The owners of the North Berwick house insist their small back garden lacks peace because it is too close to the neighbours.

And they say the answer is to move up creating a third floor roof terrace on the top of the two-storey home.

The proposal was rejected by East Lothian Council planners in May amid concern it would lead to other houses in the conservation area erecting roof terraces.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The couple had applied for planning permission to make alterations to windows in the house, which were given the go ahead, but the roof terrace was rejected by planners.

Agents on behalf of the couple say in a statement that the roof, which is accessed by a hatch, is already used by the owners and the terrace, which would include decking of just under 7 metres by 3.5 metres and a glass railing, would make it safer.

They said: “No 59 Forth Street has a very small back garden area which is not very peaceful given the proximity to neighbours, and has direct sun for only a portion of the day in summer and none at all in the winter.

“Improving the form of the roof terrace would allow the house owners to enjoy outside space at their property all year round and in a more relaxed way, given the increased sunlight and lack of neighbourly noise/cigarette smoke. ”

The appeal includes photographs of neighbouring houses with balconies which they claim are the same as the proposed roof terrace, however none of the existing additions are built in top of the roof of the homes themselves.

Properties in Forth Street, which is described as an eclectic mix of homes, have recently sold for upwards of £500,000 and afford views towards the beach and coastline.

In refusing to allow the roof terrace officers said that if approved it could “set a harmful precedent for the addition of roof terraces on the flat tops of the roofs of neighbouring buildings on Forth Street.”

They added: “The formation of other roof terrace(s) would be both individually and cumulatively harmful to the character and appearance of this part of the North Berwick Conservation area.”

The Local Review Body will meet next month to decide the appeal.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription at https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/subscriptions.