Councillors raise Hopefield worries

Midlothian House, the main office for Midlothian Council, Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith
Midlothian House, the main office for Midlothian Council, Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith

Councillors have voiced their concerns about proposals for two large housing developments bringing more than 1000 homes to Bonnyrigg.

Last week’s planning committee meeting heard about proposals for homes in the HS11 and HS12 developments in the ever-growing Hopefield area of the town.

If approved the proposed HS11 Walker Homes development off the north east corner of the existing Hopefield estate would include around 375 homes on 21.6 hectares of agricultural land south of Hardengreen Roundabout.

While the HS12 proposal by Taylor Wimpey to the west of the existing estate, to be known as Dalhousie Chesters, is earmarked for 700-1000 homes, community facilities and a new primary school.

With both proposals still at the pre-application stage elected members had the opportunity to make comment and ask council officers questions about the proposals at the latest planning meeting.

Midlothian Council leader and Bonnyrigg ward councillor Derek Milligan (Lab), proposed dealing with the two separate proposals together under one masterplan going forward to give locals a clearer understanding of the future of their area.

He also repeated calls for work on the Sheriffhall Roundabout upgrade to begin as soon as possible as it would ease traffic problems in Bonnyrigg.

Proposing new roundabouts and traffic lights at the Hopefield estate, he said: “There are serious concerns for residents already there getting in and out.”

Fellow Bonnyrigg councillor Dianne Alexander (SNP) proposed a new park and ride scheme in Bonnyrigg adding: “Given the amount of developments there I think that’s something we need to be looking at and asking developers to apply due attention.”

She also raised concerns about the impact so many new homes would have on local services such as the GP and dentist surgeries struggling to cope with existing demand in the area.

Cllr Alexander also mentioned existing parking problems in the town adding that any more homes are “going to cause a lot of problems in Bonnyrigg”.

Labour councillor Russell Imrie proposed a green transport line, “to help get people who are moving into these new homes on to public transport instead of just using their cars.”

Other issues raised by councillors included bus routes, broadband speed and drainage.