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Boundary fencing at the site © The Penicuik Cuckoo

End Near in Greenlaw Mill Discussions

Developers behind a new housing project in the north West of Penicuik, say that legal discussions are nearing completion.

Full construction works are yet to commence at Taylor Wimpey’s planned “Greenlaw Mill” development, two and a half years after approval was given, due to ongoing discussions to decide on the developer’s contributions to the local authority.

Preliminary construction works commenced on the land north of Greenlaw Mains in August 2013 but were later halted because of a lack of the relevant permissions. Since the termination of the works, the public have been prohibited from recreational use of the land, which was once frequented by walkers.

However the end of the saga may be in site, with both Wimpey and Midlothian Council reporting that the process is in its final stages.

Pauline Mills, Land and Planning Director for Taylor Wimpey East Scotland said:

Our Section 75 is now agreed with Midlothian Council, however before we or the council will sign, we are taking the opportunity to ensure that all of the other consents and technical issues which are required to be put in place that sit out-with planning are in place so that the development will be ready to commence once full planning consent is granted.

A spokesperson for Midlothian Council added:

Discussions are in their latter stages but are still ongoing.

He continued to state that an estimated date for conclusion is not yet available.

Ms Mills’ statement emphasises the need to take care of other technical issues, this perhaps referencing the infrastructure requirements that must be implemented before the development can be occupied. It is believed the homebuilder will fund the multi-million pound construction of a roundabout onto the A702 trunk road at Mauricewood, a process which could take months and cause major disruption to commuters. Amey SE Scotland, the company behind the management of the road, say they are awaiting further key details from the developer before plans can be put in place to start construction.

In addition to this, funding will go to local schools, mostly the oversubscribed primary school provision at Mauricewood; a two classroom extension is expected there.

These requirements will have been agreed in the mentioned section 75 legal agreement between the developer and the council. The agreement is used in all major planning applications in the country but most conclude amicably without much hesitation. However the vast number of developer contributions required for Greenlaw Mill are believed to have impacted the signing timescale.

Earlier this year Wimpey assured the Cuckoo that the agreement was concluded and had been submitted to the Land Registry for registration against the land deeds. It later emerged that the lawyers returned the table in the eleventh hour to amend certain details.

So, thirty months on from approval, they may nearly be in the position to call time on the legal discussions and fire the starting gun for construction but the chequered flag won’t drop until the 458th house is built in 2030.

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