Housing plan angers locals

MORE than 200 angry locals have signed a petition against plans to build 60 homes in South Mayfield.

Persimmon Homes lodged plans in the summer to build housing on land off Westhouses Road. Now local people have handed in a petition venting their anger to Midlothian Council’s planning department, who are currently considering the application.

Fears include flooding and the impact building new homes would have on the scenery.

Robert Hogg, secretary of Mayfield and Easthouses Community Council, said he hoped the council would take on board local worries over the plans.

He said: “Obviously I want to make sure people are listened to, we hope the council take seriously the concerns that they are raising. And if it is passed, we hope they will still listen to locals’ concerns.

“Hopefully there is a balancing act between the concerns and building the homes, progress is progress.

“There are lots of local concerns however. It’s a beautiful place for the view and that is why they are building up there. They will sell.”

Mr Hogg added that the community council has been aware of the intention to build there for some time.

“We fought the original proposal for outline planning permission back in 2003 and it went to a public enquiry, but we didn’t win,” he said.

“However, we got partial success. The proposed site for houses was brought back down the hill a bit. The Reporter backed us to a small extent.

“It’s been lying there since then. The local residents have been aware for a while that something might happen but now they are pressing against it.

“They have genuine concerns though, which should be listened to.”

Jim Kirkpatrick, Persimmon Homes East Scotland’s managing director said it was no secret that housing had been planned for that area for some time, and was quick to allay fears of flooding on the site.

He said: “The council allocated the South Mayfield site for housing in 2003 and is part of the adopted Local Plan.

“We have been working with the community and council since October 2011 and have held a series of meetings and presentations.

“The development layout is sympathetic to its setting and the parameters laid down by the Planning Department. The establishment of a housing layout and associated road infrastructure will better manage any current surface water run-off issues that exist at present.

“We believe our range of first-time buyer and family housing, will not only help deliver the needs of local housing supply demands, but will bring further employment opportunities for local contractors and tradesmen.”