Homeowner who ignored council and went ahead with large hip roof faces demolition order

Two hips of the roof either side of a house with grey slating
The home was completed in 2020 and was much larger than the initial designs stated with two large hipped roofing either side of the property a major concern to the council (Image credit: Google Earth)

A homeowner has been told to either remove their large hipped roof or potentially face a demolition order by their local council.

Midlothian Council had approved the self build home in late 2019 but because the house was built during the Covid lockdown, planning inspectors were unable to inspect the property during the works. When restrictions were lifted they flagged that the roof was much larger than originally planned and needed to change.

The owner of the self build, which is in Kirkhill Terrace, Gorebridge, ignored the council's request to remove the hipped roof and instead submitted a retrospective application, which was subsequently rejected.

Self builder built hipped roof larger than agreed

Planning permission was granted for the dwelling on December 16, 2019, with the plans drawn up by Kenneth Reid architects. However, the hipped roof that was agreed in the plans was significantly smaller than the roof that was eventually built.

The roof was designed with a hip on either end of the property and finished with slate roof tiles.

The materials of the areas above the windows on the front elevation beneath the projecting sections were to use dark grey composite cladding.

Inspectors didn't visit due to Covid lockdown

During a Local Review Body meeting held in October 2020, councillors were informed that planning officers had observed that the house under construction "greatly exceeded" the size specified in the original planning conditions and ordered to cease construction.

Although, due to the country going into lockdown and a lack of monitoring on new construction projects, work on the unauthorised house continued, eventually leading to its completion.

Despite an appeal, councillors upheld the initial refusal of the retrospective application for the house due to the size, and in particular, the size of the hip roofs that were described as "enormous" by Councillor Derek Milligan.

Earlier this year, the council issued an enforcement notice to remove the hip roofs or replace the roofing with a different type of roof, or a smaller one, or face the complete demolition of the house.

A hip roof with a gate and stone fence in front

The house, which was completed during lockdown, far exceeded the size in the initial planning documents and required retrospective planning permission (Image credit: Google Earth)

Council served enforcement notice after homeowner ignored demand to remove hipped roof

A revised application was submitted and granted approval, but the council still required the hip roofs to be removed, or replaced, which has yet to be acted on.

The homeowners addressed the issues of openings "on the north, south, east elevations" of the house that were overlooking into neighbouring properties. However, the two hips on the roof still remains, and as yet no work has been done to remove them.

A report from the council last week stated: “In February 2022 the applicants were provided with a voluntary six month period to remedy the breach of planning control.

“No steps were taken to remedy the breach and on 18 November 2022 the council served a planning enforcement notice.

“Following a site inspection in July 2023 it was identified that there had been no compliance with either of the notice requirements and as a consequence the landowners have been formally advised of the consequences of non-compliance including reporting the matter to the committee seeking authorisation to take prosecutorial action.”

Councillors are now looking to submit the case to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to pursue a fine to the homeowner, or a demolition order due to breaching the enforcement notice.

Joseph Mullane
News Editor

News Editor Joseph has previously written for Today’s Media and Chambers & Partners, focusing on news for conveyancers and industry professionals.  Joseph has just started his own self build project, building his own home on his family’s farm with planning permission for a timber frame, three-bedroom house in a one-acre field. The foundation work has already begun and he hopes to have the home built in the next year. Prior to this he renovated his family's home as well as doing several DIY projects, including installing a shower, building sheds, and livestock fences and shelters for the farm’s animals. Outside of homebuilding, Joseph loves rugby and has written for Rugby World, the world’s largest rugby magazine.