Despite support from neighbours, James Bevis and his partner Louise have been told they need planning permission for the DIY extension and could face a fine of up to £50,000 if they fail to remove it.
The planners objected to the structure, saying it was too far from the front of their Mayfield home. And now the Scottish Government Reporter has backed the planners after the couple appealed the council’s enforcement order to Scottish ministers.
In his decision, the reporter said he could not issue a building permit for the extension of the house and could not overturn the council’s writ of execution because it was built without a permit, which is against the rules.
And he dismissed the couple’s argument that the council should seek a different solution rather than calling for the annex to be demolished.
He said: “During my on-site inspection, I was able to observe that the garage and conservatory are not classified as permitted development.
“The building therefore requires planning permission and without the garage and conservatory they represent a breach of planning control.
“Section 5 of the Writ of Execution sets out the necessary steps that must be taken to remedy this breach, which is to effectively restore the country to its condition before the breach occurred.
“In my view, these steps are not excessive and there are no less onerous steps that would resolve the control breach. ”
Carpenter James, 52, said the conservatory was added to the garage to allow the couple’s teenage twin girls to spend time with friends.
The couple live in a terraced house at the end of Laurelbank, which has a large side garden rather than rear space.
They built the garage and conservatory in the side garden, with the small conservatory extending slightly in front of the house.
In the council’s writ of execution, he argues that leaving the building where it is would undermine public confidence in planning policy.
However, a planning officer’s report in the original planning application confirmed that there were no complaints or objections to the building from neighbors.
Instead, they received two letters of support from people who lived across the street.
The Council Notice read: “The Council Planning Authority has (sic) postponed the taking of enforcement measures due to the circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.
“However, this situation has now improved and the unapproved building housing both developments must now be removed.
“Its continued presence in the country conflicts with the democratic planning and decision-making process and would thereby undermine the credibility of the planning system and public confidence in its results.”