£22.4m Pentland project appeal to Scottish Ministers

Wednesday November 30th 2022


The 11-hectare site proposed for New Pentland was refused permission because two-thirds of it was classed as countryside in the Local Development Plan.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Scottish Ministers are being asked to overturn a decision to reject a £22.4 million plan to build a care home and affordable housing on ‘disused’ land which developers claimed would create hundreds of jobs in Midlothian.

The proposal by Pentland Park Marine Ltd for land next to Straiton retail park was thrown out by councillors at a meeting in August after planners said two-thirds of the site was on designated countryside.

Developers, however, argued the land was ‘fallow’ and had lain unused for 50 years.

Now they have taken their case to Scottish Ministers on appeal asking them to overturn the councillors decision.

The group behind The New Pentland project argue it will create hundreds of jobs and provide much needed community services as well as homes for local residents later in their lives.

In June an application for an Aldi store on the site, which developers said was part of the overall masterplan, was approved by councillors despite the land being classed as countryside by officers.

One ward councillor at the time questioned whether describing the land as countryside was “quite true” while another described the land as “not of any particular landscape value.”

Despite the comments the plans for the care home and housing, which included a veterinary surgery and children’s nursery, amenity space and extra care flats and housing were rejected at planning committee in August.

At the time a spokesperson for the landowner said: “We are extremely disappointed with this decision.

“Our proposals were part of an overall masterplan that included the Aldi Food Store, which was approved under the same land use restrictions.

“These plans were community-led to enhance the local environment and were also designed to bring significant economic benefit to the area from a capital investment of over £22m. We feel this is a missed opportunity for local residents.”

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