Homeowners appeal garden plan after planners ‘failed to return phone call’

FRUSTRATED homeowners have asked councilors to intervene on plans to turn woodland into a garden after accusing planners of not returning their phone call.

The owners of The Clockhouse, in Carberry Courtyard, near Whitecraig, have applied for permission to change use for land which has been used as a garden for nearly a decade behind their home.

They also applied for retroactive permission for a patio and a summer house.

In the original application for a change of use, the applicant said the wooded area had been used as a “small residential garden” since the house was purchased in 2013.

The change of use application was lodged in September with planners at East Lothian Council.

However, after planners failed to make a decision within two months of validating the application, candidate Julie McNairn appealed to the council’s local review body, telling them that the lack of a decision should be “considered a refusal”.

In her appeal, she told the body: ‘We are attending a review as we haven’t received any comments other than ‘waiting from the landscape team’.

“I tried to call and leave a message but got no response.”

A spokesperson for the council confirmed that the call was made for non-determination of the request by the officers.

The council’s local review body is made up of elected councilors who hear appeals on planning applications, which are normally decided first by officials rather than the planning committee.

In the appeal over the garden application, Ms McNairn said she wanted ‘a decision and a rationale for that decision’.

The local review body will meet virtually to decide the appeal next Thursday (February 17).

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