Retail unit planning rejected

Tuesday January 10th 2017

Retail Unit near Tesco

Plans to build a retail unit on the land south of the petrol station at Tesco Hardengreen have been rejected by Councillors.

At the Midlothian Council Planning meeting today Councillors supported the planning officers recommendation not to support the application.

The planning officer’s report said the proposed development was contrary to the relevant provisions of the Strategic Development Plan, the Midlothian Local Plan, the Midlothian Local Development Plan and National Planning Policy.

Specific matters being:

– the location of the proposed store is out-of-town, contrary with the sequential town centre first approach to retail development and in conflict with national and local planning policy

– the applicant has not demonstrated that the proposed store would not undermine the vitality and viability of Dalkeith or Bonnyrigg town centre

– the site cannot be classed as a neighbourhood centre

– the poor design of the building in terms of its size, form and materials is detrimental to the visual amenity of the area

– the loss of landscaping along the sites boundary would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the area.

At the same meeting there was pretty uniform agreement across party lines that Scotland’s planning system is in need of change.

Commenting, Councillor Kenny Young said:

“There is frustration that decisions made by locally accountable Councillors can be overturned by The Scottish Government’s Reporters’ Unit, even in the absence of any notable flaw.

“Too often, Councillors feel as if they are making an “initial decision” on an application, with the real, permanent one to be handed down by a civil servant later on. There seems to be a widely held desire to redress this balance.”

You can read the planning officer’s report in full HERE.

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