The group behind the plans for a new film studio complex in Midlothian has confirmed that backers may pull out if a decision isn’t reached soon.
Pentland Studios Ltd has told the Advertiser that with the Scottish Government still not committing to a decision date, further delay could see the removal of a £48 million stake in the £200m project, but refused to comment further.
The planning application for the privately backed development with six sound stages and a water stage at Straiton was ‘called in’ by ministers more than a year ago, after a decision was delayed by Midlothian Council.
A report on the planning reporter’s recommendations was received by ministers on December 22. The situation was also raised at Holyrood last week by Lothian List MSP Gordon Lindhurst (Con), who pressed the government on whether clarification would be given but Minister Kevin Stewart refused to give a date.
Mr Lindhurst claimed the continued delay in a decision has resulted in “uncertainty” for local people and that this “centralisation of planning applications is putting off potential investors”.
He added: “Everyone involved in this debacle is completely fed up with the Scottish Government dragging its heels on this issue.”
The application has seen strong local opposition, with thousands signing a petition against it to stop farmer Jim Telfer being evicted from the land his family has farmed on for more than 100 years.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is considering a planning application and every effort is being made to issue the decision as soon as possible.
“Government officials only received the Reporters submission on the Pentland’s proposal at the end of December. This is a highly complex planning application for a mixed-use development of which a film studio is only one part, and Ministers are currently giving full and proper consideration to it. There are many factors to consider that can affect timelines and it would be misleading to suggest an indicative date for decision.”