Midlothian tourism plan ‘in jeopardy’

Oakridge Property's plans for a visitor centre at Fordel.
Oakridge Property's plans for a visitor centre at Fordel.

Scottish Ministers are examining controversial plans for a £13 million tourist village at Fordel.

In June, Midlothian councillors agreed they were minded to grant consent for Dalkeith-based Oakridge Properties bid for a tourist retail outlet, hotel and visitor centre on the A68.

Permission was subject to restrictions which would be covered by a legal agreement. The application was referred to the Edinburgh and Lothians Structure Plan Joint Liaison Committee, which consists of the four Lothian councils and the Scottish Borders Council.

Although the committee agreed not to block the development, despite concerns from Edinburgh and East Lothian Councils, Scottish Ministers have now taken an interest.

Updating cabinet members last week, head of planning Ian Johnson said officers were negotiating a Section 75 legal agreement with the development when Scottish Ministers requested formal notification of the application.

He said: “We received notification on October 27 advising us that Scottish Ministers were still considering the matter but hadn’t ‘called it in’.”

It is likely the council will discover the outcome of their deliberations at the end of November.

Full story in this week’s Advertiser. On sale now