Development plan narrowly approved

Midlothian Council Building
Midlothian Council Building

Midlothian councillors have ratified the latest proposed Strategic Development Plan (SES Plan) for Edinburgh and South East Scotland.

This comes after delaying their decision in August because of concerns that houses were being built so quickly, supporting infrastructure was unable to keep up. A seminar on the plan was then held to address councillors’ concerns about issues including public transport, GP waiting lists and teacher numbers.

However, Labour group leader Councillor Derek Millgian made it clear at last week’s council meeting that he was still not satisfied, stating that the planned new medical practice in Newtongrange would only satisfy demand for a short period.

He said: “We cannot agree this yet, absolutely not. The current housing allocation will exceed the 5,000 places in Newtongrange.”

He has also noted that the Borders Railway was not coping with demand.

And Green councillor Ian Baxter raised transport concerns, calling for a strategic long-term plan to tackle the issue in Midlothian.

However SNP councillor Derek Rosie urged councillors to approve the SES plan, he said: “Knocking it back is not going to help with the situation one bit.”

The SES plan was ratified by councillors, with Provost Joe Wallace’s casting vote making the difference following a nine each tie.