Auchendinny school concerns

Wednesday November 25th 2020

Fairfield House Midlothian


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Concern over plans for a new primary school in Auchendinny saw proposals for nearly 400 new homes in the community scrape through planning this week.

Developers applied for detailed planning permission for 395 homes on land to the east of the existing village, with an area of land set aside for a new primary school.

However, concerns were raised at a virtual meeting of Midlothian Council’s planning committee about allowing the housing to be built before the new school was on site.

Councillor Kelly Parry voiced her fears that the ongoing consultation over the closure of Glencorse Primary School in Penicuik, which serves the village, offered a number of options to replace it, not all involving a new school in Auchendinny itself, as proposed in the council’s Local Development Plan.

And she pointed out that there was currently no bus service in the village at all.

Councillor Parry called on the committee to refuse planning permission for the housing until the future of education for new families moving in and those already in the village had been decided.

She was told that a public consultation on the closure of Glencorse Primary included a number of options, from a new primary school in Auchendinny to extending Roslin Primary School or providing education at the new secondary school campus proposed for the A701 corridor.

She said that the alternative options suggested made her less confident about the school which had been promised to the village going forward.

She added: “I think we need to sort out education first.”

The new housing development is proposed with housebuilders Stewart Milne and Avant Homes over a 27-hectare site.

Councillors were told that land on the site had been safeguarded for a new primary school but the final decision on whether a school would go there would be taken at a later date.

Councillor Russell Imrie expressed sympathy for residents of Auchendinny but pointed out that the site to the east of the village had been accepted into the Local Development Plan, making it hard to refuse planning permission.

The plans were approved by the committee by six votes to five.

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