Plea to pause house building in Bonnyrigg

Members of Bonnyrigg and Lasswade Community Council ' Rhona Matthews, Marnie Crawford and Ruth Scott ' check the area earmarked for housing at Dalhousie South.
Members of Bonnyrigg and Lasswade Community Council ' Rhona Matthews, Marnie Crawford and Ruth Scott ' check the area earmarked for housing at Dalhousie South.

Bonnyrigg and Lasswade Community Council has written to Midlothian Council calling for a halt to housebuilding in the town while the current infrastructure struggles to cope.

In a letter to the local authority’s development management department, the group focuses on the HS11 site at Dalhousie South, with plans to build more than 300 new homes there currently going through the planning process.

The letter states that the “rapid growth of our town has left us with struggling infrastructure and services”.

It adds: “There is great concern within our area regarding the rapid growth of the town.

“The failure of the infrastructure to keep up, exacerbated by these years of the council’s financial deficit and resulting cuts, leads many to say our quality of life in Bonnyrigg is decreasing.

“At this point in time further house building beyond that for which permissions are already in place (HS10 for example) are not welcomed.”

Speaking to the Advertiser, the community council’s chairwoman, Marnie Crawford, said: “We would really like to see a pause to housebuilding in Bonnyrigg.

“We have all sorts of objections.

“We know it’s in the Local Plan so we can’t stop it forever, but we just feel at the moment there is so much housebuilding in the town.

“There is a real problem getting the infrastructure to catch up before we move on.

“We haven’t got the extension to Hopefield Primary yet.

“HS11 is such a huge site, so the school extension at Hopefield is badly needed to take the pressure off Burnbrae.

“I think everybody understands that they work to a model as to how many places are needed.

“But, because houses are cheaper here than in Edinburgh, we have families coming to the bigger houses so schools are hit.

“Doctors surgeries are also struggling as it is.”

Focusing on Dalhousie South, Marnie added: “It’s a lovely site.

“It would make a very nice place to live, but there are so many other things it impacts upon.

“So we would like a bit of a gap so the local infrastructure can catch up.

“It’s unrealistic to think we can stop housebuilding here. But it should certainly not be at the speed it currently is.