Edinburgh woman who painted her New Town door pink hit with more complaints despite changes
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A homeowner ordered to repaint her pink front door in Edinburgh's New Town was hit with another complaint after she changed it to off-white.
Mum-of-two Miranda Dickson, 49, inherited her childhood home in Drummond Place, which her parents bought in 1981 in the UNESCO heritage area. Miranda, who returned from living in Los Angeles, painted the door pink - but was threatened with a £20,000 fine by the City of Edinburgh Council.
She was ordered to change the colour by April so painted it green as she had not had confirmation from the council's planning permission department and the deadline was looming. The green colour was welcomed by neighbours but she then received a missive telling her the application was rejected, so changed it to off-white three weeks ago. Miranda, who took over her parents' travel firm when they died, only found out about the most recent complaint after being told about it by a BBC journalist.
She also revealed a complaint was made about wallpaper she used inside her house, and believes someone was using binoculars to see into her home. She said the attitudes in Edinburgh were the polar opposite of LA, or of the neighbourliness she enjoyed in Moss Side, Manchester.
Miranda said: "I was just gobsmacked. I wouldn't have known about the complaint, the council hasn't reached out to me about it. Somebody is complaining that I painted the door back to its original colour, which is categorically not true.
"I feel like it's becoming discriminatory, it obviously is personal. There are many brightly coloured doors within Edinburgh's New Town. It's questionable that planning permission is needed to change the colour of the front door as it's not a structural change.
"I am hoping the council aren't going to take the complaint seriously, I painted it thinking 'how could anyone find this offensive'. It is obviously someone in my neighbourhood who has a problem with me. They should go and see the Barbie movie. Half the neighbours are supportive, but I've been here longer than half the people on this street. I don't understand how you can pick on this door and not mandate nonsensical rules.”
She added: "You can't have a set of guidelines but only enforce them when someone complains, it doesn't work. It comes down to personal opinion. When the first complaint was made, I didn't know I had done anything wrong. I thought they must have a special colour chart but there isn't one. Coloured paint was expensive in the Georgian era because of the cost of pigment.
"My neighbour said 'the street has been here before any of us, it will be here when we've departed, the colour paint doesn't change the building'. It isn't like putting a glass box on the side of the building or turning a house into apartments."
Also part of the listed status is wall-coverings painted by a Grecophile former owner in 1890, depicting urns and 'tigers which look like rats'. Miranda re-papered her office in acid green wallpaper to preserve the depictions - but was stunned to be told by the council that someone had complained.
She said: "Someone complained about the wallpaper inside the house. My parents had that room restored but it's my office, I had it covered with acid green wallpaper. Someone must have looked in with binoculars." She added: "I moved back to Edinburgh after eight years in the States and didn't expect people would be so mean. I'm just really hoping that the council will see sense."