The Save Kippielaw Group are to be congratulated on their stance against the erosion of their community identity. Many other areas of Midlothian face similar intrusions.
The corridors of land that establish such identities also provide access for the transit of wildlife which is too often ignored by developers and local authorities in pursuit of maximum return on their investment. An excellent example of residential area design is Newbattle Abbey Crescent, with its wide green areas, although I believe plans to build on said areas have been considered. Any attempt to push through further development in this area can only be described as legalised vandalism. I recently attended a meeting at which the Midlothian Local Plan (MLP) for the Bonnyrigg area was discussed.
If such plans are developed to their full potential, Bonnyrigg will soon be joined with Newtongrange and Gorebridge. Locations of certain areas of proposed development would appear to have been influenced by the route of the Borders Railway.
The manner in which the existing road infrastructure would have to be improved to cope with the increased traffic flow was not detailed within the drawings / documents provided.
An essential element of such a development is the enhancement of emergency services, this was not addressed. All such concerns were documented and submitted to Midlothian Council for which we hope will be their earnest perusal.
We must demand specific detail as regard environmental, road infrastructure and emergency service issues, together with face to face discussions with our MP, MSP, councillors and planners before one piece of earth is disturbed. We the taxpayers must adopt a firm stance to ensure that this plan proceeds in accordance with the requirements of the community and not those of the developers. The discord that currently exists within Midlothian Council provoked by party political differences does inspire confidence that the best interests of the community are being addressed.
This situation is further exacerbated at the present time by the resignation of Peter Boyes, who was obliged to step down as a Labour councillor. All that Councillor Boyes can be accused of is exercising his democratic right to vote as his conscience dictated, and not as the Labour group dictated.
It is a sad day for democracy when such division exists and gives cause for concern as to how we can expect any consensus on major projects such as the MLP.
J B Scott
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