Land ownership puzzle at gas works

Green councillor Ian Baxter at the site of homes approved last week despite not being on the local development plan.The site is at the former Arniston Gas Works just outside Gorebridge. North of Engine Road, next to the busy A7.
Green councillor Ian Baxter at the site of homes approved last week despite not being on the local development plan.The site is at the former Arniston Gas Works just outside Gorebridge. North of Engine Road, next to the busy A7.

The long-running controversial plans to build ten homes at Arniston Gas Works took an unexpected turn last week with confusion as to who owns the land.

Despite the planning application from Pegasus Flooring being made, rejected and then overturned by the local review body, all in 2015, the issue of who owns the land has only now come to light.

While trying to progress the legal agreement of the planning approval, the council has thrown up land ownership questions which might ultimately invalidate the original planning application. At its meeting last week the local review body agreed simply to note the position and await the outcome of the investigations into the land ownership of the site.

Councillor Ian Baxter (Green), who sits on the committee, said: “There has been confusion over the process and paperwork. It seems like it was all worthless and has to go back to the beginning.

“I now want a report to come back to every local review body meeting until this issue is resolved.”

In January this year, Midlothian Council’s local review body agreed to write to Pegasus Flooring, giving it six weeks to finally meet the conditions attached when the application was approved in October 2015. Those included the signing of a legal agreement to secure £120,000 of developer contributions.