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Wimpey Refute Official’s Claims

Taylor Wimpey has dismissed claims that they backed down on signing a legal agreement at the eleventh hour.

At a planning committee meeting on March 3, the Head of Communities and Economy, Ian Johnson, reported that the house builder had changed their legal agreement at the last instance, preventing them from registering the deeds with the Land Registry. When asked for an update on the housing developments in the north west of the town, Mr Johnson said:

Further down the road, down Mauricewood Road, the Greenlaw Mains, the Taylor Wimpy site, which the members have been minded to grant planning permission for, subject to a legal agreement, that was literally drafted up, in terms of the legal agreement, ready to be registered but at the last minute the house builder just wants to adjust part of that process in terms of the legal agreement.

This claim has now been refuted by Taylor Wimpey who say that the agreement is in a “finalised form”. Last month we reported that Midlothian Council and Taylor Wimpey had agreed all the terms required to allow construction to commence on site. A spokesperson from Wimpey said:

We’d like to take this opportunity to clarify that comments made at a recent Midlothian Planning Committee meeting have been incorrectly reported, and we can confirm that our Section 75 agreement has reached a finalised form with Midlothian Council with all planning contribution terms agreed in relation to our development.

Our Section 75 agreement will be presented to Registers of Scotland for registration when both Taylor Wimpey and Midlothian Council have agreed the legal wording that will allow registration of the agreement. We are currently awaiting approval from Midlothian Council to confirm they are happy with our proposed application.

It has been a difficult and drawn out process, taking over two years to near conclusion. Planning permission was informally granted in February 2012, prompting the two parties to sit down and discuss the developer’s contributions to the local infrastructure, education provision and economy. Soon after talks began, it became clear that the situation would not be quickly resolved. One such problem was the construction of a roundabout on the A702 connecting Mauricewood and the trunk road. Despite being one of many developers with plans for new housing in the town, Wimpey must saddle the cost of the roundabout, an estimated £2m. The land that will be occupied by the roundabout has since changed hands causing uncertainties with where the ownership lies.

However despite the two year hiatus, the house builder is now confident that the necessary deeds will be registered shortly. The Land Registry of Scotland told us that once the deeds are submitted, Wimpey can expect to start onsite within days, subject to obtaining the necessary building warrants from the council.

As for the roundabout on the A702, the developer says that they are not yet in a position to say when this will start construction and how this will impact commuters.

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