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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 July, 2005, 18:21 GMT 19:21 UK
Tall pair fail to raise the roof
Tall man Brian Culbert
Brian Culbert encounters problems every day due to his height
A tall couple have been denied permission to raise the roof of their Aberdeenshire home.

Brian Culbert, who is 6ft 10in, and his 6ft wife Fiona are so tall they find everyday tasks such as showering and walking through doors a major problem.

Councillors rejected their application to raise the roof of their Lumphanan home on the grounds that it would set a "dangerous precedent".

The Culberts believe they have been discriminated against.

Mrs Culbert, 31, said: "I was particularly upset when it was suggested by someone on the council that we just buy a bigger house.

Brian and Fiona Culbert
I am always banging my head or stooping and we had designed the extension to accommodate our specific needs
Brian Culbert

"There is no low cost housing around here - we can't afford to move, we have got to make do with what we have got.

"Height is actually a disability if you are spending your life banging your head off doorways - my husband must have the patience of a saint because it happens to him all the time.

"One of the councillors at the meeting actually had the cheek to say that she is only 5ft 3in but she doesn't live in a "diddy" house, which I find quite offensive."

The Culberts had wanted to install a Mansard roof to their home as part of the extension.

But this was rejected because it does not meet with current local plan guidelines.

Mr Culbert, 36, an oil company worker, said: "I find what has happened very hurtful and of course we are disappointed that the plans we worked on with our architect have been refused.

Brian Culbert's house
The couple were told they could not alter the roof of their home

"I am always banging my head or stooping and we had designed the extension - which was cost-effective as well as aesthetically pleasing - to accommodate our specific needs."

Peter Argyle, the 6ft 3in tall vice-chair of the council's Marr Area Committee which considered the application said: "The committee was sympathetic but felt that the design did not conform in any way with council planning policies.

"6ft 10in is tall, but had we said 'okay, we will allow it because they are above average height', then in theory that would open the door to anyone else who is tall getting applications approved on the basis of their height.

"That is just not logical."


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