Dalkeith HMO approved above the Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion, Dalkeith.
The Royal British Legion, Dalkeith.

Young people who move into shared accommodation can’t afford cars and rely on town centres to avoid isolation, it has been claimed.

Plans to turn a three-bedroom flat above the Royal British Legion in Dalkeith town centre into a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) for up to 10 young adults, were given the go ahead this week after the applicant argued it would not need parking spaces.

Instead the council was told the new eight-bedroom property would be a starter home for young adults to give them a chance to develop and live in affordable housing.

Midlothian Council’s parking space policy requires additional spaces to be created for new homes.

However an agent for the applicant for the property, in the town’s Buccleuch Street, said it was not anticipated the tenants of the flat would own vehicles.

He said: “To consider that the proposed tenants, who are in a situation where they have to live within such tight budgets, would be in a  position to afford and run vehicles is erroneous.”

He added that ensuring young people were close to amenities and support as they start out in life was important to avoid leaving them isolated.

“Indeed it would be anticipated, by the applicant, that any young person who found themselves in a position where they were to become more financially viable, that their first consideration would be seeking their own private accommodation and not remain in a house in multiple occupation.

The Legion was the only objector to the plans which were originally refused by council planning officers.

But at a meeting of the local authority’s Local Review Body the decision was overturned by three votes to two after councillors ruled the new tenants would have “no shortage of buses” in the location.