A man who knocked down a wall and excavated his garden to create a driveway for his home in Edinburgh has been ordered by the council to rebuild the wall and restore the land to its original state.
How the man transformed his garden into a parking space
- The man, David Lynch, removed nearly 50 cubic metres of soil and vegetation from the sloped garden of his Blackford home to make way for parking spaces without permission.
- He also knocked down a boundary wall and constructed a car run-in for his Ladysmith Road property last year.
- He claimed he had been told by planning officers that the work was a ‘permitted development’ requiring a simple certificate of lawfulness.
Why the council rejected his retrospective application
- The council concluded that the work was ‘not compatible with the existing dwelling and surrounding neighbourhood character’.
- The council said the work had a ‘detrimental impact on the visual amenity of the area’ and ‘failed to respect or enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area’.
- The council also raised concerns about the potential impact of water run-off and the stability of neighbouring properties.
How the man appealed against the council’s decision
- The man appealed against the council’s decision, saying he had been given ‘inconsistent’ and ‘subjective’ advice by planning officers during the process.
- He said he had sought to do the right thing and comply with planning regulations, but was told different things by different planners.
- He said the situation had caused him ‘considerable stress and anxiety’ and asked for leniency from the council.
How the councillors upheld the refusal and ordered enforcement action
- The councillors who reviewed the appeal this week said they were ‘shocked’ by the extent of the work and called it ‘egregious’.
- They said the work was ‘very visible’ and ‘very obvious’ on the road and had changed the character of the area.
- They said the man should have applied for full planning permission before doing the work and that he would have to bear the ‘significant expense’ of rectifying the problem.
What will happen next to the man and his driveway
- The council will ask the man to rebuild the wall and restore the land to its original form as soon as possible.
- If he fails to comply, the council may take legal action against him and carry out the work itself at his cost.
- The man may face further consequences for breaching planning regulations and damaging a conservation area.