Plans for new Easthouses school due to go before planning committee

The old Newbattle High School, Easthouses Road, Dalkeith.'' Neil Hanna Photography.
The old Newbattle High School, Easthouses Road, Dalkeith.'' Neil Hanna Photography.

The new Easthouses Primary School will house more than 420 primary pupils and a further 144 nursery children on the site, which, if approved,  is expected to be built within the next three years.

Midlothian Council agreed to use part of the former high school land, which had been earmarked for housing, for a new primary school last year as it came under increasing pressure to find classroom spaces for families moving into the area.

The detailed plans for the new school will be presented to the local authority’s planning committee for the first time tomorrow (Tuesday).

It includes a two-stream primary school, with the potential to expand to a three-stream school, with indoor and outdoor nursery provision as well as an additional support needs centre.

The new school will include a multi-use games area and nearly 70 car parking spaces.

Planning officers are recommending councillors approve the plans, which would see a u-shaped building created with two wings wrapping around a courtyard.

A report to the committee said only one representation had been received about the application, which supported the plan but raised concerns about the removal of mature trees on the land and closeness of the car park to neighbouring houses.

However, planners argue that the school buildings are smaller than the high school was and so do not create increased urbanisation on the site and tree preservation orders are in place for those which need to be retained.

They describe the proposed new school’s position, which would look out over the new play areas and open space, which would be used by the community outwith school hours, as creating “a sense of place and grandeur which promotes the site as a community building”.