Midlothian planners reject ‘remote’ housing bid near Rosewell

Monday July 10th 2023

Barley Dean

Barley Dean, Rosewell, pictured last year.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A bid to build houses on a former fly-tipping site have been rejected by Midlothian planners despite councillors giving a similar plan the go ahead last year.

The latest application for housing at the land at Barley Dean, near Rosewell, had proposed five new homes on the site.

However concerns about the remoteness of the new homes from public transport and services, as well as contamination on the land, saw planners refuse to approve the detailed plans.

The Council’s Senior Manager Neighbourhood Services (Roads) urged officers to reject the plans.

Their report said there were “reservations over the remoteness of the site and the lack of any pedestrian or public transport services in the local area.”

It added: “As the site is in a rural area, there are no pedestrian footways or street lighting available and given the remoteness of the site and the lack of any convenient public transport or walking/cycling facilities, it is likely that the majority of trips, including school journeys, would require to be made by private car.

“This does not appear to be in keeping with the Council’s aims of reducing reliance on the use of the private car and increasing opportunities for ‘active’ travel.”

Last year councillors overturned planners decision to reject another application for housing on the site with environmental health officers insisting a site investigation report into possible contamination on the land was carried out before planning permission in principle was approved.

They had raised concerns about previous uses of the yard including as a coal quarry, possible asbestos in disused buildings on the site, reports of unknown materials being used to fill in the quarry and spillage of fuels on the land.

This time environmental services said they still had ‘significant concerns’ about the site but did not recommend refusal, only conditions to ensure safety at the site.

Planning officers said despite receiving ten letter supporting the planned housing and only three objections, they refused the application saying the layout and size of the houses would be out of character with the rural setting and that they had not been convinced the development ‘can be successfully integrated into the surrounding rural area’.

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