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© Midlothian Council - Planned Layout of Refurbished Centre

Recycling Centre Plans Scrapped

Midlothian Council’s plans to create a new community recycling centre and gritting depot in Penicuik have been abandoned due to public opposition and lack of funds.

Councillors met on Tuesday (16 December) to decide whether to proceed with plans to replace the ageing recycling facility on Bellman’s Road. The local authority had previously submitted an application to create a large facility on vacant land to the west of Strathesk Primary School, however a campaign group of concerned parents and teachers from the neighbouring school objected to the proposals, citing the increased traffic levels and noise which would have been created by the new recycling centre. The application was therefore refused by the council’s planning committee.

Instead of mounting a costly legal challenge, or drawing up plans for a new site, councillors decided to scrap the plans and instead spend £300,000 upgrading the current facility. This move will save approximately £1m and can be delivered within a shorter period of time. It is proposed that an office building in the centre of the Bellman’s Road site will be demolished, making way for four more recycling containers. Road sweepers and other vehicles will also be removed from the site and a new exit will be created allowing a one way system to be employed. Councillor Derek Rosie, cabinet member with responsibility for recycling, said:

There were concerns raised by local people about where the new centre would sit, especially in relation to Strathesk Primary.

We have listened and the decision today is to extend and improve the current recycling centre on Bellmans Road.

We feel this is a move that will benefit the whole community and help improve our recycling rates.

In a document submitted to the cabinet, further sites were put forth for consideration after the Strathesk land was rejected. These include Milton Bridge Ministry of Defence site, Glencorse (adjacent to treatment works), Gowkley Moss, Rear of Tesco, Former Territorial Army site, Mauricewood Bing, Pomathorn Mill, Pentland Industrial Estate and Edgefield Industrial Estate. The document then states:

However, given the financial situation facing the Council, and the relocation of the collection and street sweeping operations and vehicles to Stobhill it is considered prudent to reconsider the options available before proceeding further.

Midlothian Council are moving to save £17.25m over the next three years, with cuts to the schooling and road maintenance budgets also announced.

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