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Greenlaw Mill Construction to Start in Summer

Months after first accessing their site north of Greenlaw Mains, Taylor Wimpey could finally be set to break ground.

The planning permission, which was granted subject to terms last February, may be about to take a huge step forward as the section 75 legal agreement is signed by Midlothian Council and Taylor Wimpey.

Midlothian Council told us that they “expect to conclude the legal agreement in June 2014” signalling that months of waiting for construction to begin could be coming to an end. The hold up has been caused by the section 75 legal agreement which puts forth the developer’s contributions to the local economy and infrastructure along with the social housing provision. It is expected of a development this size, 458 dwellings, that the developer will allocate at least 5% of the development to social or affordable housing. That amounts to roughly 23 homes, which are expected to be housed in a block of flats on the southern side of the “linear park” which splits the development into two.

Other contributions being decided on include the contribution to local infrastructure. It is believed that Taylor Wimpey will pay for the construction of a new roundabout at the A702/Mauricewood Road junction, along with contributing towards local road improvements and the costs associated with diverting a bus service through the Greenlaw Mill site.

Taylor Wimpey’s contributions towards the education provision will also be agreed upon. They are expected to donate around £2M to extend Mauricewood Primary School. Further funds may go to Beeslack CHS. However Wimpey are not expected to donate any funds to the local economy, namely the retail provision. The bulk of the town centre is not owned by Midlothian Council and as such contributions for this would not be agreed on in the section 75 legal agreement, which is an agreement solely between the council and the developer. The developer does, however ,want to create a new Commercial Zone though to the north of the development. This zone is subject to a future planning application but plans currently submitted show that the zone would likely supply the site with a private nursery and a convenience store. Further retail units would also be supplied. The commercial zone would serve the rapid expansion of north west Penicuik.

Last time we spoke to Taylor Wimpey in March they said:

We continue to be fully committed to our development at Greenlaw Mill in Penicuik, and our discussions with Midlothian Council in order to agree our Section 75 obligations continue to make good progress.

However when concluded, our Section 75 agreement will secure our full planning permission, and we can assure the local community that work will start as soon as possible thereafter in order to deliver a fantastic range of new homes.

If discussions do conclude in June, site preparation works will begin on site soon after, however Taylor Wimpey must still apply for the relevant building warrants before they are able to break ground on their first home. Phase one of the development will build a row of homes backing onto the existing houses located in Greenlaw Mains One.

The works are expected to complete in 2027.

Meanwhile, Midlothian Council have reiterated their hope to start construction of new social houses in the town. Their sites at Craigiebield and the former Jackson Street School site, will see onsite work from June this year to March next year. A council spokesman told us:

We remain on track for work to begin on both sites during June 2014, subject to final legal agreements with our contractors. This work is part of the second phase of the council’s housing programme, which will deliver approximately 400 homes in Midlothian over the next five years, representing an investment of more than £60m.

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What’s your view on this development? Are you glad to see construction get underway or are you still skeptical that any work will begin this Summer? Let us know in the comment box below.