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Ronald’s plea to build house for disabled wife

Section:  Dumfries and West  | Tags: , , , , ,

A LAST ditch plea has been made by a pensioner who wants to build a house for his disabled wife.

PLANNING PROBLEMS . . . Ronald Edgar in front of the wooden house at the centre of a planning row

Ronald Edgar, 82, of Dumfries wants to knock down a wooden house in the grounds of Dalskairth House in order to build a new one that would cater to his wife Helen’s needs — one without stairs, and with disabled access.

However, Dumfries and Galloway Council and a reporter from the Scottish Ministers have rejected all of his applications and appeals so far.

Ronald said: “Repairs are needed at Dalskairth House that would cost £500,000, so we’ve had to look at other options.

“The house I want to build would only cost £50,000, so it’s a much better option.

“My wife Helen has trouble with stairs and uses both a wheelchair and a walking stick to get around.

“We’re not quite sure what’s wrong with her at the moment, but she’s been suffering from six months to a year now and this house would really help.”

The applications and appeals have been rejected on the grounds that the proposed house fails to have regard for the character and appearance of Dalskairth House and the surrounding area, and that Ronald cannot prove anyone has lived in the current house continuously for a period of four years.

Ronald said: “I don’t understand how the house I want to build would detract from the character of the big house, but the one that currently stands there doesn’t.

“My wife threw away things like tenancy agreements, Council Tax records and utility bills to prove people had been living there because she didn’t think we’d need them. But the legislation has changed now anyway. It’s irrelevant.”

However, a spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Council refused to comment on how the proposed house would retract, and refuted any change to Section 124(2) of the 1997 Town & Country Planning (Scotland) Act.

The spokesman said: “Mr Edgar’s applications have been independently considered and rejected by both a Scottish Government Reporter and the Council’s Local Review Body, backing Dumfries and Galloway Council’s planning officers’ decision.”

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