Fears that new flats could kill off masterplan

Community council members Stephen Liddell and Judy Thomson
Community council members Stephen Liddell and Judy Thomson

Fears have been raised that plans to demolish a pub and build a block of flats would destroy any hopes of success for a town centre masterplan.

EMA Architecture has applied for planning permission to turn the vacant former Limekilns/Mayfield Inn pub on Bogwood Court in Mayfield into 21 flats, four storeys high.

This has caused dismay in the In It Together cross-community group, which is currently in the early stages of creating a town centre masterplan to rejuvenate the middle of Mayfield, where these flats would be built.

The issue was raised at last week’s meeting of one of the group’s partners, Mayfield and Easthouses Community Council, when the group’s Stephen Liddell said: “A continued central meeting spot with shops and amenities is essential to the future of our town centre. We have a one-off opportunity to develop this side of the park into a 21st century town centre, like the state-of-the-art school (Newbattle) on the other side of the park.

Stephen welcomed the introduction of 21 social houses to the town but not in the centre, adding: “It would leave us with no commercial heart in the town centre. It simply restricts the options we have to build ourselves a new town centre. We have asked the developer to withdraw the application and work with us in creating the town centre masterplan.”

Ewan McIntyre, of EMA Architecture, welcomed the masterplan, and he is optimistic about the planned block of flats, saying: “We have met In It Together and had a productive discussion. Their proposals are very exciting.

“Our client agreed to delay delivery of the project to allow them some time to take the masterplan forward.

“It’s a small site. Ultimately modern mixed use local centres need people to live in them as well as shop in them.”