Gorebridge couple may be forced to tear down dream Kirkhill Terrace mansion after falling foul of planning laws

Scottish Government rejects couple’s appeal
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A Gorebridge couple have been told they must demolish their £600,000 dream mansion by June or make alterations by April, after building the impressive family home without a building warrant.

David and Dawn Allan applied for planning permission in 2018 and started work on the site at Kirkhill Terrace without getting a building warrant first. The couple claimed in the Daily Record that a building warrant was given, but Midlothian Council strongly denies that.

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A meeting of Midlothian Council’s Local Review Body in 2020 was told the house was much bigger than the one given planning permission. Planning chief Peter Arsdorf told a virtual meeting that planning permission for a house had been given in 2018, but in December last year officers realised what was being constructed was not what had been approved.

The couple's dream home in Gorebridge may have to be demolished.The couple's dream home in Gorebridge may have to be demolished.
The couple's dream home in Gorebridge may have to be demolished.

He said planning officers spoke to the owner at the time and work stopped. A building warrant and planning permission are separate and dealt with by two different council departments. A building warrant is the legal permission to start building work and ensuring a building complies with building regulations.

Council officials claimed the ‘hipped’ garage roof at the property was ‘detrimental’ to the local area and should be removed. The Allans were told to make changes by April 20 this year, or demolish the property completely by June 20.

The couple’s latest attempt to be granted permission to keep the home as it is was rejected by the Scottish Government. Planning And Environmental Appeals Division case officer Emma Brown wrote to the Allans this week, stating: “The appeal cannot proceed as it is not within the required timescales.”

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A Midlothian Council spokesman said: “We can confirm the building warrant was not issued in error and all relevant procedures were followed.

“We served an enforcement notice on November 18, 2022, because the building doesn’t comply with the approved plans. We formally raised the issue of the unauthorised work with the owner’s planning agent back in February 2022 and gave the owner time to voluntarily make the required changes. The owner now has the option of either making those changes by April 20, 2023 or demolishing the building by June 20.”

The Allans have been contacted for comment.