New home near Linlithgow gets the sympathy vote for elderly homeowner

Councillors rejected the advice of planning officers and agreed to allow an elderly lady to build a new four-bedroomed house and double garage on land close to her current home.

By Kirsty Paterson
Friday, 26th April 2019, 12:45 pm
Updated Friday, 26th April 2019, 12:50 pm

Members of Falkirk Council planning committee heard that the proposed building, on rural land to the south of the former East Bonhard farmhouse, Linlithgow, was of a modern design, using red brick, aluminium windows and a zinc sheet roof.

Planners were unhappy with the proposed appearance for Mrs Margaret Linkston’s new house and argued it did not fit in with the council’s Local Development Plan, which prefers buildings in a traditional style that are in keeping with their surroundings.

Members of the planning committee had previously visited the site and seen the area for their selves.

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Councillor Lynn Munro said: “This house is going to be almost entirely invisible and I think we shouldn’t apply rules for the sake of rules.

“We should be thinking of this lady’s human rights. Is she not entitled to end her days where she grew up?”

Councillors Gary Bouse and David Alexander urged committee members to take the planners’ advice.

Councillor Alexander said: “It’s a difficult decision to take when you see the human concerned, but we have to have plans, strategies and rules and we can’t allow sentiment to cloud our judgement, much as we’d like to.”

“The plans are there for a purpose and have to be consistently applied by us.”

But Councillor Gordon Hughes said he felt the proposal would actually “add value to the area”.

Councillors voted to allow the house and double garage to be built as proposed.