Resident’s plan to build on abandoned land rejected after furious opposition

An Edinburgh resident’s proposal to build a new home on long-abandoned land has been met with strong opposition from neighbours, leading to the rejection of the application. 

The council cited various reasons for the refusal, including failure to address flood risks and concerns over the loss of precious green space in the local area.

The disused wasteland at Gilberstoun has remained vacant for years, prompting the resident to seek permission to construct a house on the site. 

But the council’s decision was influenced by numerous objections raised by neighbours, some of whom expressed dissatisfaction with the presence of two shipping containers currently situated on the land.

After sending out planning notices to nearby residents, more than 30 responses were received, with over 20 objections to the proposed plans and only around four expressing support for the project.

One neighbour said: “This would again reduce green space and fewer areas of wild land. 

“I think wherever possible places like this should be preserved before there are no places for wildlife such as hedgehogs, birds and weasels.”

In contrast, a supporter of the plans commented: “It would be nice to see this piece of land utilised and not left to disrepair in the way that it is now. 

“I appreciate that a significant part of the land is left as greenspace and not all put behind hedgerows for a private garden. 

“The plans for the garden are also largely natural rather than paved over so I don’t feel it would be a large loss of green space.”

Another neighbour who opposed the plans expressed concerns about the current state of the land adjacent to their property.

They said: “Our house is adjacent to the land where the owner wishes to build a house. The area is a mess with overgrown bushes and weeds which come into our garden. The two storage containers are ugly and I think they should be removed, but I note the intention is for them to remain there in the online plans.

“We have lived here 25 years and when we investigated who owned the land a number of years ago, we were told it was a green belt area and it would not be built on.

“I oppose the house being built on the land and I think it should be tidied up and kept as an area where wildlife can thrive.

“The field nearby will have many more houses built on it, therefore which is another reason to keep the land as a green area for wildlife.”

The City of Edinburgh Council justified their decision by saying the proposed plans did not align with the development plan.

The council said: “The proposals fail to comply with the development plan, as 1. it has not been demonstrated that the proposal will meet the tests to justify the loss of this designated open Space, 2. it fails to demonstrate that future occupiers will have an adequate standard of amenity in terms of daylight and immediate outlook.

“3. the potential risks of flooding have not been understood and addressed, 4. the extent and scale of driveway and parking proposed fail to have a positive impact on the character of the surrounding area, 5. the proposed parking levels exceed the maximum standards for this development.

“6. it has the potential to compromise the effective use of adjacent land, 7. it fails to assess the existing habitat value of the site and its role in a wider green network and 8. there is insufficient information has been submitted to assess how the proposals will impact on protected trees.”

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