Midlothian Local Development Plan ignored

Thursday October 29th 2015

MLDP - Arniston

Midlothian’s Green councillor, Ian Baxter, has severely criticised the decision by the Local Review Body to overturn planning officials’ refusal of an application to build ten houses in an area not designated for housing in either the existing or proposed local development plans.

The application, for Planning Permission in Principle, had been refused by officers on the grounds that it contravened the local plan and did not have good public transport links. It was also opposed by the Forestry Commission which said there had already been illegal tree felling and they wanted to return the site to natural woodland. Although the applicant argued that the site is brownfield as there is some hard standing, it is clear from an aerial view that it is over 80% greenfield.

Cllr Baxter said, “Why on earth does this council bother with a Local Development Plan when clearly inappropriate applications like this come along and they are waved through without a thought? Residents will need two cars per household as there is little public transport provision, no safe cycle or walkways and children have nowhere to play, having to cross the busy A7 to get anywhere. We’ve just come through a long process of consultation, designating huge areas of Midlothian for housing development, far in excess of what Midlothian needs, yet councillors ignored all that and decided more mature trees need to be felled in an entirely inappropriate location to build more houses. The Local Development Plan, and all that consultation, now appears to have been a waste of time and money”.

Cllr Baxter proposed that the planning officials’ decision to refuse the application be upheld, but failed to find a seconder.

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