'Incongruous and unsympathetic' - Edinburgh property owner who wanted to build 'sun room' on roof forced to appeal to Scottish Government

The owner wanted to create an outside space for his flat in Marchmont.
3 Fingal Place, Edinburgh3 Fingal Place, Edinburgh
3 Fingal Place, Edinburgh

A property owner who wanted to build a decking area with an attached sun room on the roof of their listed Edinburgh flat has been forced to appeal to the Scottish Government.

Derek Davidson, who owns 3 Fingal Place in Marchmont which is a B listed building, was refused permission by Edinburgh City Council to construct a ‘sun room’ on his roof, alongside with some decking.

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He wished to do this in order to create an “external space” for his flat, the design statement for the plans state, something he does not have due to the fact the flat below “retains ownership of what would have been the garden to the original ‘complete’ property”.

The design of the sun roof included a new spiral staircase with a contemporary design, alongside a small extension to the ridge of the rear roof to allow for the right amount of headroom.

However, refusing his application for listed building consent for the sun room, the council stated its construction would be “an incongruous and unsympathetic addition, which adversely impacts on the special character of the building.”

Council officers added: “The proposed alteration and extension to the listed building would result in a loss of fabric to the historic structure, diminution of its interest, and is not in keeping with the rest of the building.

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“The proposed development would neither preserve nor enhance the special character and appearance that contribute positively to the Marchmont, Meadows and Bruntsfield conservation area.”

There are 50 conservation areas in Edinburgh, with each having special architectural or historic interest meaning there are extra rules to control building work

Mr Davidson argues in his appeal statement that the construction of sun room would not affect the conservation area due to the fact it would not be visible from outside the flat.

He wrote: “The proposals would not affect the special character and appearance of the conservation area as they would not be visible from the street. Any loss of fabric to the historic roof structure would be no worse than dry rot repairs and could be reinstated in the future.

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“[I] disagree that the proposals would introduce an 'incongruous and unsympathetic addition which would adversely impact on the special character of the building' as they would not be visible from outwith the property.”

The appeal is now with the Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) and the case will be allocated to a reporter who will make a decision as to whether to allow the construction of the sun room.

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