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© Cheryl Carroll, Facebook

John Chant Centre Demolished

Residents neighbouring the building on Eastfield Farm Road were shocked after the building was razed to the ground on bank holiday Sunday.

Midlothian Council have demolished the former John Chant Centre in Ladywood, Penicuik, to free up the land for a development, yet to be scrutinised by their planning department.

The historical building, off Eastfield Farm Road, was once used by the Territorial Army, before it’s conversion to a daycare centre for adults with special needs. However it has lain empty following the council’s decision to pull the plug back in 2010, which saw the service relocated to Bonnyrigg.

On Saturday 2 May, work commenced to salvage materials from the building, such as roof tiles. Twenty-four hours later, the John Chant Centre was demolished in its entirety, to the surprise of those neighbouring the site. Concerned residents took to our Facebook page to query the happenings, stating that they had received no prior warning of the disruptive demolition which commenced early on Sunday morning. However, a spokesperson at Midlothian Council refuted the need for notification stating:

The demolition in the proposal outlined to the planning authority constituted permitted development in terms of class 70 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order (as amended). Given that the proposal constituted permitted development, there was no planning-related requirement to notify neighbours, therefore.

Plans for the site will now be brought forward and were submitted to the council’s planning department on Monday 11 May. The planned development will create twelve ‘extra care’ units, separated into three hexagonal blocks, for adults with both physical and mental disabilities. Whilst permission must still be obtained, Midlothian Council believe they can break ground in August with an aim to complete the construction by September 2016. You can view and comment on the planning application here (ref. 15/00380/DPP).

Visualisation of new centre © Midlothian Council
Visualisation of new centre © Midlothian Council

The council are currently undertaking phase two of their social housing programme and their contractors will shortly be handing the keys over for three new build developments in the town.

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