A HOMEOWNER who was refused permission to add a dormer extension almost as long as his house has lost his appeal, after councillors described the proposed addition as "huge".

The box-style dormer proposed by applicant Robert Smith was described by East Lothian Council planners as a "radical alteration" to the house on Pencaitland’s Queen's Drive.

And even though they admitted that the extension at the rear of the property would not overlook any neighbours or intrude on their homes, they said it would be a "gross overdevelopment", taking up 86 per cent of the roof.

A meeting of the council’s local review body last week agreed with planners, saying that the dormer was just too big.

Councillor Donna Collins told the meeting she could not back the extension because “it is huge. I think it is way off scale to any proportion of the building”.

And fellow review body member Councillor Liz Allan said of a site visit to the property: “When we went round the rear to have a look at the other properties, I couldn’t see anything even close to the size which is being proposed.”


Councillor Colin Yorkston, chairing the meeting, agreed.

He said: “I can understand why the applicants have put it in, They are looking for space for family but just the scale of it means it is no longer subservient to the existing building.”

Members of the review body encouraged the applicant to scale down the proposals, suggesting that a "compromise" could be found.

Councillors were told that the applicants believed the extension was acceptable as it would not be seen from the street and would provide additional indoor space in the house.

They said in a supporting statement: “It is not within a conservation area nor is it a listed building.

“We have demonstrated that the proposals, although fully developed over the rear roof slope, would not be viewed as harmfully dominant, intrusive or incongruous when viewed from the street, but rather maintain the single-storey cottage streetscape.

“The full extent of the box dormer can only be comprehended when viewed from the rear private garden.”

The review body unanimously agreed to reject the appeal and support officers' decision to refuse planning permission for the dormer.