Housing will build pressure

Councillor Derek Milligan.
Councillor Derek Milligan.

Midlothian is set to experience the largest household increase in Scotland over a 25-year period, according to new national statistics.

Household numbers are projected to increase in almost every council area in Scotland from 2016 to 2041, but the largest projected percentage rises are in Midlothian, East Lothian and the City of Edinburgh (36, 26 and 26 per cent respectively).

With the number of households in Scotland projected to increase by 13 per cent (to 2.76 million), Midlothian is likely to see a rise of almost three times the national average.

Midlothian Council leader Derek Milligan said the figures would come as no surprise to local residents, who have witnessed a steady migration of the city population beyond the suburbs, placing increased pressure on peripheral services.

Housebuilders have also reacted to the overheating Edinburgh housing market by seeking development land to the south and east of the city.

Councillor Milligan is calling on the Scottish Government to acknowledge this growth by increasing its financial support to the cash-strapped local authority.

He said: “With the high numbers of new homes currently being built in Midlothian, no-one in the county will be surprised by the new figures.

“This rapid growth brings both challenges and opportunities.

“More households mean more people and greater demand on services, especially as we’re all living longer.

“It’s vital therefore that growth is manageable and sustainable.

“We want people who live locally to enjoy a good quality of life and be able to access excellent schools, good public transport, leisure facilities, health care, jobs and green spaces.

“As the number of new homes being built is largely dictated by the Scottish Government, we really need to make sure we’re getting the financial support we need from the Scottish government to provide the infrastructure required.