Hillend Destination resort plans now available to view

An artist's impression of the Hillend redevelopment.
An artist's impression of the Hillend redevelopment.

Locals have been given a first glimpse of the full plans for the new £13.8 million Hillend Destination resort after they were officially lodged last week.

Funding for the proposed redevelopment of Midlothian Snowsport Centre, at Hillend Country Park, was approved earlier this year by the local authority and will see the site turned into an all-weather leisure facility.

Among the plans to secure the future of the centre, which is used by local schools as an educational centre as well as a public sports venue, the proposals will include hotel accommodation, glamping sites, food courts and cafe facilities.

An alpine coaster and zipline are expected to be added to the outdoor snowsport activities, with plans to create soft play and high ropes areas inside.

If given planning approval, planning consultants brought by Midlothian Council believe construction could be complete by 2022.

In the application for planning permission in principle, the consultants say the expansion of the centre will use discreet buildings, giving rise to a low degree of landscape change.

They say: “As the Midlothian Snowsports Centre is an existing outdoor sports venue and recreation centre, it is considered to be an appropriate location for further outdoor sporting, recreation and leisure facilities.

“The proposals will improve the existing outdoor facilities on offer at the centre, which are in need of upgrading, and will also provide further facilities to the centre, increasing opportunities for outdoor recreation at the site.”

The consultants said that a public consultation event last year brought mainly supportive comments from people who attended.

Among suggestions from the public for improving the proposals were calls for Midlothian residents to be given discounted access to the new centre and a proposed hilltop restaurant.

They said: “Other operational issues such as admission prices, discounts for Midlothian residents and a proposed hilltop restaurant have been fed back to the applicant, in order for them to consider, although pricing matters are not relevant in planning terms.”

The planning application is available to view online at bit.ly/34fqpiu.