"Malibu" cottage extension in Pathhead approved despite concerns

A planned cottage extension in Pathhead would look more in place on a Malibu beach house than a conservation village, councillors were told at a meeting this week.

By Marie Sharp, LDR
Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 10:51 am
An artist's impression of the planned Pathhead cottage extension.
An artist's impression of the planned Pathhead cottage extension.

Plans to add the extension to a listed building on Pathhead Main Street to help divide it into two properties were described by local councillor and Midlothian Provost Peter Smaill (Con) as “aggressively modern”.

He urged fellow planning committee members to refuse the proposal which he said would set “an unfortunate precedent” for the village.

Speaking at a virtual meeting of Midlothian Council’s planning committee, Councillor Smaill said he called in the application over concerns about the impact of the extension.

He said: “This is a listed house in a small conservation village. It would be better suited to an executive estate or a Malibu beach house.

“It is completely out of keep with the rest of the high street.”

The proposals would sub divide the house into two separate cottages with the extension at the rear of the property.

Peter Arsdor, planning manager, said planning officers recommended the application for approval because the extension is at the rear and “very discreet”.

He added that guidance over conservation areas does not mean new buildings have to be a “replica or pastiche” of traditional buildings, adding it was more about judgement.

However Councillor Smaill responded: “It is a matter of judgement and in my view this is too aggressively modern to fit in with Pathhead.”

He urged members to send the architect back to the drawing board by refusing the application.

Council leader, Councillor Derek Milligan (Lab) backed officers’ recommendations to approve the extension, adding any concerns were down to personal taste rather than planning judgement.

And fellow Labour councillor John Hackett agreed with Councillor Milligan, saying: “I do not feel I can impose my taste on it but I am moved by some of the comments made.”

The Midlothian Council planning committee voted by seven votes to three to approve the planning application at the virtual meeting held earlier this week.