Happy Days for Eskbank nursery as house decision overturned by Scottish Government reporter

Midlothian Council Debating chamber at Midlothian House, where councillors rejected the proposals in January.
Midlothian Council Debating chamber at Midlothian House, where councillors rejected the proposals in January.

A bid to build a house in the garden grounds of a children’s nursery to help provide funds for its future has been given the go-ahead after an appeal to the Scottish Government.

More than 50 letters of support were received by Midlothian Council backing the proposals to build the new house next to Happy Days nursery at Eskbank, Dalkeith.

But despite the support, and recommendations that the plans were approved by their own officers, councillors rejected the proposals in January on the grounds it was against the character of the conservation area.

Now a Scottish Government Reporter has overturned the decision, granting planning permission on appeal.

Ruling in favour of developers, the reporter said that a visit to the site at Eskview Villas revealed that although it was in a conservation area, the area itself had already seen “pressure for new development” pointing to recent planning permissions granted within yards of the proposed site.

He ruled that the new house would not have an impact on the surrounding area and would be “markedly less visibly” than a neighbouring development which was already under way.

Granting planning permission for the new house, the reporter said that he disagreed with comments that the house would have an adverse effect on Eskbank and Ironmills Conservation Area, which it is in.

He said: “I conclude that the scale, choice of materials and design of the proposed house preserves and enhances the character and appearance of the Eskbank and Ironmills Conservation Area.”