Retail park extension revealed

Straiton Retail Park, Straiton, Loanhead.

Straiton Retail Park, Straiton, Loanhead.

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A major extension of Straiton retail park has been unveiled as part of a Midlothian Council plan to boost shopping within the county.

The Midlothian Local Development Plan (LDP), which will be adopted in early 2015, includes mixed use development proposals for West Straiton, to the west of the A701.

These encompass offices, a hotel, commercial leisure facilities and, potentially, housing at the southern end.

According to the LDP, there might also be scope for additional retail development there.

Describing Straiton as “Midlothian’s commercial hub”, the council acknowledges that there is a certain level of expenditure “leakage” from the Midlothian economy to commercial centres around Edinburgh.

The LDP will aim to maintain Midlothian’s share of retail expenditure.

Councillor Ian Baxter (Green) said: “I see major issues with this – green belt will be sacrificed and residents of Straiton Park homes may face eviction. With some of the current units empty, how does this stack up against the council’s stated desire to support town centres?”