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Planning appeal rejected

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
Planning appeal rejected

A Kirkcudbright man’s bid to build a new house adjacent to his historic home has been refused by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Planning officers had previously rejected Mark Neil’s application for permission to construct a new property in the village of Borgue, insisting that the relationship between his current 19th century home and a new-build would be “inappropriate”.
Mr Neil, who lives at a house known as The Soup Kitchen, launched an appeal against the decision, which was heard at the council’s local review body meeting last week.
An agent for Mr Neil argued that similar materials would be used to construct the new house – and that the council previously approved planning permission for two semi-detached houses on the same site in 2006.
The agent went on: “The proposal would enhance the character of the village without detriment to The Soup Kitchen or any of the neighbouring properties, so would fully comply with the criteria set out in local development plan policies.
“Mr Neil therefore requests that review board to overrule the refusal and grant planning permission for the proposed dwelling, subject to any reasonable conditions it wishes to impose.”
The Soup Kitchen was built in the 1840s as a school house and then converted to a free church school. It later became a soup kitchen which served local children a daily hot meal during the winter months. The building was then used as a store by a local joiner before becoming derelict.
The applicant’s father rented the whole site as a construction yard and then bought it 50 years ago. Mr Neil then developed the building as a home in 2010.
Seven councillors sitting on the local review body weighed up the council officer’s reasons for planning permission refusal, along with the applicant’s plea for it to be overturned.
Dee and Glenkens Councillor John Denerley asked: “I would just like to ask for some clarification on The Old Soup Kitchen. Is there any relevance of its history because we know that new properties can affect the character of the area?
“Will that affect The Soup Kitchen’s history?”
Council planning officer David Suttie responded: “Obviously there is a bit of history to it, which I can see from the papers provided by the applicant’s agent.
“It is a house now and what you’re assessing is the implications of putting the new house where it is proposed in relation to The Old Soup Kitchen.”
Mid and Upper Nithsdale Councillor Jim Dempster, who is also chairman of the council’s planning committee, said: “I’m content with the observations of the planning officer. The decision was made, and I would support that decision, and agree to refuse the appeal.”
The local review body unanimously rejected the planning decision appeal.

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