SHORT SHRIFT FOR THIN-END-OF-THE-WEDGE HOUSE PROPOSAL
Verticus Ltd seeks planning permission to demolish a single-storey garage at 17 Spey Street Lane and build in its place a 2-storey three-bedroom house (20/04132/FUL; 20/04133/CON). Its proposals include a change from business to residential use.
In its Design Statement, Verticus argues that the development would provide a high-quality contemporary dwelling in excess of Edinburgh Design Guidance minimum area standards.
It says local noise levels would not negatively impact residential use, and the new home would have acceptable amenity and parking provision.
The operation of existing workshops and garages on the lane would not be affected by the new structure, says Verticus. Its arrival would contribute to the ‘general regeneration and improvement of residential provision in the area’.
In response, locals have established a Save the Lane group to galvanise and coordinate opposition.
StL sees the proposal as the thin of the wedge, leading to the erosion of jobs, livelihoods and working premises for a thriving ecosystem of mechanics, joiners, metalworkers, and craftspeople.
‘This would be catastrophic for the area as a whole,’ says StL. ‘Pilrig has always had a rich industrial past, and this is another attempt to dissolve traces of its working roots.’
Reasons for objection
The group goes on to provide ten reasons for objection, which you can read in full HERE. In summary, it says the proposed development is contrary to Edinburgh Local Development Plan Policy:
- Emp9 – because it would not help to meet the needs of small businesses. Indeed, it would reduce the number of premises, and – because likely noise levels within the proposed house have not been assessed according to British Standard BS4142 – possibly lead to those businesses’ loud activities being inhibited at a later date.
- Des1 – because its incongruous appearance would not contribute to a sense of place and would negatively affect the character of the lane.
- Des2 – because it would compromise development of the adjacent land to the NW as it relies on daylight from a window directly facing the boundary wall. The setback of the NW window from the boundary would not avoid direct overlooking of neighbours. The windows on Spey Street Lane would be about 6m away from the opposite property and look directly into it.
- Des4 – because it would intrude across the current building line onto the lane, reducing access. Its scale, height, mass, form, and positioning would have an obtrusive and detrimental effect on its surroundings.
- Des5 – because it would overshadow the NW neighbouring garden and the workshop opposite in contradiction of the Edinburgh Planning Guidance – Daylighting, Sunlight and Privacy (Item No 6.1.1)
- Des6 – because its roof would use non-sustainable and non-local materials, and fail to demonstrate compliance with the current CO2-emissions-reduction target.
- Env6 – because, by failing to protect the workshops, it would adversely affect the Pilrig Conservation Area and contravene CEC guidance on conservation areas.
- Env16 – because it would negatively affect protected bats in the locality.
- Hou3 – because there would be inadequate green space for residents.
- Hou5 – because the lack of pavement in the busy lane would create a hazard for future residents. The proposal is not compatible with Hou5 Council policies which seek to safeguard or provide for important or vulnerable uses.
Spurtle admires Spey Street Lane’s historic shabby chic and useful contribution to today’s local economy. We see this proposal as a threat to both.