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Housing

Difficult decisions

The latest planning application for 100 private houses at Auchendinny, with hopefully a builders’ community contribution towards a new primary school for the area, including the 2SCOTS families at Glencorse Barracks, is good news. And the Dalmore private housing development, including builders’ contribution helping to fund the new Auchendinny Centre, bodes well for the village. After years of decline, due to the papermill closing down, well done Midlothian Council. Nearby at Roslin’s former poultry research, owned by Edinburgh University, more than 300 Wimpey houses are about to be built. Once again, a former greenfield site will be private housing, bringing a further boost to the Roslin village economy, in partnership with the tourist visitors to Rosslyn Chapel.

At Bilston, Wimpey are surrounding their village with more private housing, a new primary schol will probably be on the agenda again, with developer contribution. So that is roughly 500 new houses before Penicuik builds its “allocation” under the South East Scotland (SES) plan for 240,000, mostly private, houses on greenfield sites. The original 15 year Local Plan, for the areas I have mentioned, invisaged 540 houses. But this will double under new SES plans and the downside is traffic congestion, pollution, loss of countryside etc along the A701 corridor – Penicuik to Edinburgh – and the A702 and A703 corridors from south and west of Penicuik towards the bypass at Straiton and Hillend respectively.

Wimpey at Penicuik admit that it may take ten years of slow development to build and sell their allocation of housing. And Cala are also poised to build their luxury private housing on greenfield sites north west of Penicuik, almost touching the Pentland Hills regional park. Wildlife will be decimated.

Tough decisions ahead, especially the unsuitable road network. Developer contributions will be minimal for the Penicuik community as road infrastructure costs alone wil be spent on roundabouts at Flotterstone and Hillend junctions and new link bypass from Rullion Road/Deanburn up to Mauricewood Road. New council housing for Deanburn Area? Watch this space.

Alan Robertson

Dykes Road, Penicuik

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