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Consortium of Home Builders to Launch Penicuik Development

Cala Homes, Bett Homes and Mactaggart & Mickel are planning to create hundreds of homes in the north west of the town, after land ownership issues were resolved.

A consortium of home builders will submit plans later this year for between 800 and 1000 dwellings on land to the north of Rullion Road. This land was allocated to housing development in the last Midlothian Local Development plan, however after submitting plans in 2006, it was decided not to proceed with construction due to the economic downturn.

With growth in the housing market, and ambitious plans to provide homes for an expanding population, the consortium has decided to submit amended plans to Midlothian Council for consideration. Strategic Land Director at Cala Homes explained the delay in progression:

We previously submitted plans for Mauricewood in 2006, but given delays with the A702 roundabout and the changing housing market, we are at a point where we need to update and refresh our proposals.

A recent planning committee meeting heard that the developers will submit a new application before the end of 2014, with a public consultation following soon after. The strategic land director at Cala continued:

Since 2006 there have also been changes in planning legislation, including public consultation. In light of this we have decided to lodge a fresh planning submission to Midlothian Council although ultimately the main elements of our proposal remain unchanged.

We are now looking forward to working closely with both the council and local community members throughout the next stages of the planning process in order to achieve the best possible development for the area.

Exact details of the north west Penicuik site are unknown however due to planning policy, a small proportion of the development will be allocated to social and affordable housing. In Taylor Wimpey’s Greenlaw Mill development, which is still awaiting formal permission a year and a half after their application was granted subject to the signing of a legal agreement, approximately 20% of the site was allocated to social and affordable housing. The move was branded by the community council as turning the site into a “ghetto”, whilst they also pointed out that Midlothian Council had plans for their own housing on new sites throughout the town.

As ever, developer contributions would have to be made to the local infrastructure and education provision. Infrastructure wise, the consortium will have to contribute towards a new link road connecting Mauricewood Road to Rullion Road. They will also have to contribute towards the A701 realignment at Bilston, should to council gain permission for the alteration in the new local development plan. Economy wise, the developers will likely need to pay to expand Cuiken and Cornbank primary schools whilst funds may also need to be given to the ailing secondary schools.

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