A DORMER window overlooking a neighbouring garden has been described by a councillor as the “most obvious and glaring” loss of amenity she has ever witnessed.

Residents of a house in Musselburgh ignored planning conditions imposed on a new extension to their home demanding the window of a bedroom was “obscured” to protect their neighbours’ privacy.

Instead, they installed clear glass in the dormer extension, which was built less than five metres from the edge of the neighbouring garden.

East Lothian Council’s planning officers rejected a retrospective planning application to have the demand for ‘frosted’ glass withdrawn, saying it breached their privacy policy.

And at a meeting of the local authority’s Local Review Body, where the owners appealed the refusal, they lost again as councillors ruled the window was intrusive.

Agents for the house owners who built the extension had insisted there were worse planning offences in the surrounding streets of the property on Mayfield Place.

They said that, using a Google Maps search, it was clear other extensions had set a precedent and argued they should not have to obscure the glass.

However, at the review body meeting, Councillor Fiona O’Donnell said a visit to the property in question had made it clear the window needed to be obscured.

She said: “It is the most obvious and glaring loss of amenity I have seen in regards to the position of a window.”

The condition was imposed after the plans revealed that the master bedroom window of the extension was just 3.8 metres from the garden boundary, when the council’s guidance requires a nine-metre distance.

Architects revised the plans to lengthen the distance to just under five metres and pointed out the window looked into the middle of the neighbouring garden and not directly into any property.

In a statement to the review body, they urged members to look at other extensions to properties in nearby streets.

They said: “A quick search of Google Maps or a stroll around the neighbourhood reveals at least nine other properties [with similar extensions] on Mayfield Crescent, a further six on Stoneybank Grove, two on Stoneybank Crescent and several more in Mucklets Drive, Mucklets Court and Mucklets Crescent. We would contest this is more than enough precedent to establish that the nine-metre guidance to properties overlooking neighbouring gardens should be relaxed in this area.”

But review body members dismissed claims the properties were comparable, after the layout of the house and neighbouring garden, which were built at an angle, was described as “unusual”. They voted unanimously to order the window be obscured.