Straiton greenbelt warning

Wednesday January 13th 2021

Pre-Application-Notice-Location-Plan-Straiton


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Plans to create a new mixed retail park to the west of Straiton Park and Ride could come unstuck after planners warned that the proposal spilled into the greenbelt.

A report on the Straiton West proposal by Straiton Park Limited warned it was unlikely Midlothian Council planners would support the proposal in its current form.

Applicants Straiton Park Limited acknowledge in their own public presentation on their plans that nearly half the 42-hectare site in its plans lies on “greenbelt and prime agricultural land”.

However, in its presentation it insists the proposals “do not cover the entirety of this area”.

The proposals for mixed use development of the site include residential, retail, business and employment uses, as well as options for food and drink and assembly and leisure floorspace. It also includes the possibility of a hotel and residential institutions.

However, the public consultation documents for the proposal, which are at pre-application notice stage, make it clear that the development will require housing to be built on the site as a “catalyst” to help deliver other uses there.

An initial public consultation was held by the applicants via Zoom this week and a meeting of Midlothian Council’s planning committee was told that plans could be submitted in the coming months.

It is understood that a second virtual public consultation on the proposals is being organised by Straiton Park Ltd, although no date has been confirmed as yet.

A virtual meeting of the planning committee was asked to note the pre-application notice for the site.

Councillor Pauline Winchester told the committee that she was concerned about the traffic impact on Straiton Road, which she said was already “such a busy road”.

A report by planners to the committee highlighted concerns about the proposed site straddling land set aside for a proposed A701 relief or bypass route.

And it said: “Overall, it is unlikely that the planning authority would support a future application for mixed use development within the site based on the
application boundary submitted with this pre-application consultation.

“Specifically, the site extends significantly into land allocated as greenbelt and safeguarded for future transport infrastructure within the
Midlothian Local Development Plan.”

The proposals will be considered in more detail when a planning application is submitted to the local authority.

Details of the public consultation can be found at www.straitonwest.com

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