Housing approved despite site access concerns

Cockpen Farm, Midlothian, EH19 3JF, where approval has been granted for 150 homes.
Cockpen Farm, Midlothian, EH19 3JF, where approval has been granted for 150 homes.

Plans for 131 homes at Cockpen Farm, between Butlerfield Industrial Estate and the B704, have been approved.

Planning permission was originally granted in 2012.

However, councillors ratified a number of conditions at last week’s planning committee meeting regarding issues such as open space, layout, landscaping and ecology. Despite concerns about site access during construction, the committee approved officers’ recommendation to give it the final go-ahead.

Labour group leader Councillor Derek Milligan said: “I agree with my colleague (Councillor Bryan Pottinger) in bringing this in, as I can see some of the concerns local residents have. It’s clear that we have to make sure that this site is well managed.

“But the reality is that if we don’t accept where we are now, we will simply get brought in on appeal and end up with no conditions at all.”

Council leader Catherine Johnstone (SNP) suggested an alternative access route from Butlerfield Road but was told by council officials that this was not possible as it would lead to a further loss of trees and greenspace.