Application for proposed extension and alterations

This application includes proposals for very significant additions to the side and to the rear of the existing house. The Society has objected on the following grounds.

Although the application has been titled to suggest that it is primarily concerned with restoring the property by recombining two flats, its most important feature is that it involves very significant proposals for additions and alterations which would be highly detrimental to the character of the Conservation Area, to the amenity of this part of the area and to that of nearby properties.

Taken as a whole the proposals would result in a very significant increase in the development density of the site which would be wholly at odds with the much lower density of development characterising the street and the neighbouring properties. The proposed rear extension is completely out of scale with the existing house. The applicant’s design statement presents a highly misleading analysis of existing and proposed plot density by including the footprint area of the existing subsidiary structures – the rear outshoot, garage and garden stores while nevertheless accepting that the proposals would result in a significant increase in the developed site area. In fact the floor area of the residential accommodation provided within the proposed development would almost double that provided by the existing house.

The Conservation Area Character Appraisal notes that key characteristics of the area include low density development and a sense of open space. The predominant characteristic of the development on the Western part of Inverleith Terrace is of widely spaced double villas standing within their own ground. Any structures to the side of these villas are single storey subsidiary buildings (garages etc) which are generally set well back from the main elevation, usually beyond the line of the rear elevation. This pattern of development results in a streetscape view with an open prospect between the houses to the trees and green space behind. The proposals within this application include a very substantial two storey structure to the side of the existing building which would fundamentally alter, and be highly detrimental to, the streetscape. (The negative impact on street elevations which results from permitting this type of infill development can be observed elsewhere in the conservation area – most particularly on the West side of Inverleith Row where the historic pattern of free-standing villa structures with space between them has been very severely diminished by numerous ad hoc structural additions infilling the gaps between the properties.)

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