Greens question decision to site new film studio at Old Pentland rather than nearby Shawfair

Green Midlothian Coucnil candidate Helen Blackburn with Jim Telfer at his farm at Old Pentland, site of the new Pentland Film Studio

Green Midlothian Coucnil candidate Helen Blackburn with Jim Telfer at his farm at Old Pentland, site of the new Pentland Film Studio

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The Midlothian Green Party has questioned the location of the new £250 million film studio, suggesting that Shawfair would be better suited.

Pentland Studios at Old Pentland Farm near Straiton was approved last week by the Scottish Government and is due to open next year.

However, the Midlothian Green Party are horrified that an alternative site at Shawfair, adjacent to the planned new high school (a centre of excellence for creative industries) was overlooked.

“This is totally outrageous,” said Helen Blackburn, the Green Party Candidate for the Midlothian West ward.

“After all, Shawfair is within walking distance of QMU, the railway station and a cycling and public transport hub, as well as close to the bypass and A1.

“We in the Green Party are convinced that the benefits of a film studio are not being met at Damhead but could easily be evident at Shawfair.

“That is, of course, if this is actually about a film studio, not the never-ending quest for megabucks by property developers.”

The Greens have also called for “real scrutiny” to be given when the detailed plans come before Midlothian Council, amid fears that the film studios could lead to more retail and housing development in Damhead, Old Pentland and Straiton, questioning how local infrastructure would cope.

A spokesman for Pentland Studios Limited (PSL)revealed that Shawfair was considered: “PSL welcomes the next stage of detailed design in consultation with Midlothian Council, which will enable all interested parties the opportunity to examine in full, again, the various detailed aspects of the film and TV studio complex.

“Whilst the developers are now moving forward after the Government’s positive decision for the project, they are happy to reiterate that Shawfair was one of the original 28 sites explored for the potential studio, however was not suitable for purpose, details of which were all supplied upon request to the Reporter and are available for public reference on the DPEA website.”