Planners allay fears over miners’ club

Danderhall Miners Welfare Social Club, Danderhall.
Danderhall Miners Welfare Social Club, Danderhall.

Fears a miners’ club could lose its licence if residents of planned new housing complained about noise were dismissed by planners at Midlothian Council last week.

Councillors had raised concerns that giving the new houses, on Edmonstone Road, Danderhall, the go-ahead would lead to a clash with the neighbouring club.

Local councillor Stephen Curran (Lab), a member of Danderhall Miners’ Club, said the club had become a part of the local community and central hub for events.

He called in the planning application for the three new homes – two five-bedroom and one four-bedroom, on nearby land – amid concerns it could have a detrimental effect on the club’s ability to operate.

He told the planning committee: “I am not against the principle of housing on this site, it is an eyesore and has been an eyesore for over a decade now.

“Danderhall Miners’ Club, like many in Midlothian, has had to transform over the last 10 years.

“It is no longer a drinking establishment, it is integrated into the community, now taking on the lunch club and giving free lets to community groups.”

Cllr Curran’s concerns were supported by SNP councillor Colin Cassidy, who described the miners’ club as a “thriving little club” which was a credit to the community.

Cllr Peter Smaill (Con)asked planning officers about the impact of the new housing on the club, which he agreed was a “thriving community”.

Peter Arnsdorf, the council’s development management manager, said that while the new housing would be the closest residences to the club’s function suite, a car park would sit between the neighbouring site and he could see no reason why they could not “sit comfortably together”.

He told the committee that the Scottish Government was currently considering new “agent of change” legislation which would protect clubs from a backlash from new developments.

Cllr Margot Russell (Lab)said her concern was that new residents, who moved in, would complain about the club’s licence to sell alcohol if there were issues with noise.

Cllr Andrew Hardie (Con) said: “To me it is pretty clear the houses are not going to be adjacent to the building, they are adjacent to a field and the entrance roadway into the club grounds.

“The only impact is a few more residents who might go to events at the club and that is only a positive.”

The committee unanimously approved the application. Cllr Curran did not take part in the vote having declared an interest.