A NORTH Berwick couple’s bid to put bigger windows in their cottage so the husband can fit in their bedroom has been dealt a blow after it was rejected by councillors.

The couple, who own a listed cottage on Victoria Road, close to the beach, were refused planning permission to put a large dormer window in their first-floor bedroom by East Lothian Council.

East Lothian Council’s planners ruled the new window out as a “dominant and incongruous” feature in the beachside cottage.

The couple appealed both the decision to refuse planning permission to change the window and a second decision to refuse listed building consent for changes to the property – both of which are required to put the new window in.

And while the listed building consent appeal is still under consideration by the Scottish Government Reporter, the council’s own Local Review Body has rejected the appeal over the planning refusal.

At a meeting of the body last Thursday, members agreed that the proposal to replace the current windows with a larger single dormer in the cottage would have an unacceptable impact on the view of the property from the town’s West Beach.

Councillor Lachlan Bruce said of the plans: “The dormer would be harmful to the character and appearance of the building and prominent view from West Beach.”

The couple’s agent had said that the husband was 6ft 2ins tall and could only just manage to get into the bedroom of the cottage, adding that he had to crouch down to get around the bed without hitting his head on the coomb ceiling created by the small styled dormers.

The 19th-century cottage is listed as category C because of its lower eaves, which are deemed of special interest by Historic Environment Scotland.

It is one of a number of residential properties on the street which are listed.

The Local Review Body was told that, while the couple had appealed the planning decision to them, the appeal over listed building consent was being decided by the Scottish Government Reporter, who is due to make a decision next month.

It is understood that even if the Reporter rules in the couple’s favour, they would have to make a fresh bid for planning permission from the council.

A second request by the couple to replace windows with a slim double-glazing alternative was supported by the majority of the review body, who agreed to allow that work to be carried out on condition the glass used was only 12mm thick.