Midlothian Council are planning which fields will be built upon in the next six years

Monday April 17th 2023


New Pentland at Straiton, photograph by Lee Live.

Written by Midlothian View Editor, Phil Bowen

Six years ago Midlothian agreed its Local Development Plan (LDP). In short this plan specifies the land where developers can and cannot build.

All subsequent house building since 2017 has been based upon this plan, and whilst the planning committee approves each individual planning application when they are submitted, by and large the decision as to whether a field can be built upon was taken back in 2017 when the LDP was agreed.

What is an Local Development Plan?

A Local Development Plan (LDP) is a document prepared by local planning authorities in Scotland that sets out policies and proposals for the use and development of land within their area. It is a statutory document required under the Planning etc. (Scotland) Act 2006.

The purpose of the LDP is to guide and manage development within the local authority’s jurisdiction and to ensure that the use of land is sustainable, efficient, and appropriate for the needs of the community. The plan outlines the vision, objectives, and policies for the future development of the area and identifies the land that is suitable for various types of development.

The LDP is developed in consultation with the public, stakeholders, and other interested parties to ensure that it reflects the views and aspirations of the community. It is subject to an independent examination to ensure that it complies with the relevant legislation, national policies, and guidance.

Once adopted, the LDP becomes the statutory development plan for the local authority’s area and is used as a basis for making decisions on planning applications. It provides a framework for developers, local communities, and other stakeholders to understand how development proposals will be assessed and what requirements must be met.

If there is no LDP then developers can almost build where they want to as the Council cannot say the land is protected by the LDP.

Midlothian Council has now started work on the next LDP, what they refer to as MLDP2. This plan is an extremely important document for Midlothian and one which, in our View, everyone should be aware of.

The council has organised drop-in events in May and June to give your views on the future use of land in Midlothian and find out about the next MLDP2.

You will also get the chance to talk about open spaces and play opportunities in your area to the Midlothian Council Local Development Plan team.

The six drop in events are:

– Thursday 4 May – 1pm to 7pm at Gorebridge Library, 98 Hunterfield Road, Gorebridge, EH23 4TT

– Tuesday 9 May – 1pm to 7pm at Loanhead Library, The Loanhead Centre, George Avenue, Loanhead, EH20 9LA

– Thursday 11 May – 1pm to 7pm at Dalkeith Library, 2 White Hart Street, Dalkeith, EH22 1AE

– Tuesday 23 May – 1pm to 7pm at Lasswade Library, The Lasswade Centre, 19 Eskdale Drive, Bonnyrigg, EH19 2LA

– Thursday 25 May – 1pm to 7pm at Newtongrange Library, St Davids, Newtongrange, EH22 4LG

– Thursday 1 June – 1pm to 7pm at Penicuik Library, Carlops Road, Penicuik, EH26 9EP

In February 2023, the council’s planning committee agreed to start preparing for the next Local Development Plan for Midlothian (MLDP2). The current plan was adopted on 7 November 2017.

The first step in this process is getting information about the area from local people who live and work in Midlothian. What local people tell the MLDP2 team will help them write an evidence report on which to base the new plan.

As well as the drop-in sessions, the team will also be speaking to organisations including the voluntary sector, businesses, developers, land owners, national agencies and representative bodies.

Community groups will also be helping prepare Local Place Plans (LPP). These LPPs will allow community bodies to set out their own proposals for the development or use of their area.

Find out more about the Midlothian Local Development Plan, key challenges and next steps HERE.

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