Success for Save Kippielaw group

A change in education policy by Midlothian Council has delighted campaigners opposed to plans to build a school and hundreds of homes at Kippielaw.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 2:00 pm
Save Kippielaw founder Stephen Liddell  (front left) with other local residents at the site, back in 2013.
Save Kippielaw founder Stephen Liddell (front left) with other local residents at the site, back in 2013.

The Save Kippielaw group was set-up in 2013 to oppose plans to build on farmland, amid coalescence fears at the site situated between Mayfield, Easthouses and Dalkeith.

Midlothian Council’s decision this month to abandon plans for a new school and instead focus on expanding existing schools in Dalkeith and Woodburn leaves Gladman Developments’ plans for 500 homes at Kippielaw in doubt.

Stephen Liddell, founder of Save Kippielaw, said: “It’s an amazing result. It’s certainly what we were looking for. We are really pleased.

"Our local councillors, Peter Smaill and John Hacket seem to be happy with this too. I want to thank them for working on our behalf to ensure the best interests of the local community.”

While delighted with this news, Stephen knows that his group’s fight isn’t over.

He said: "It’s another battle won but it’s not the end of the war. However, we are over the moon at this latest news.

"There have been several battles. I first got involved in 2013 when the letter dropped through the door saying the council were considering building houses at Kippielaw.

"Then it went quite quiet, before the strategy came up about building the primary school and then the application for houses.

"So it looked like it was a done deal. But that has not happened because the council has taken a different strategy for education which leaves the developer out in the cold.”

With the school plans shelved, mystery surrounds plans for housing, with a pre-planning application made more than a year ago.

"The big problem with Kippielaw is that we knew the developer was planning to build 500 houses at the site,” said Stephen.

"If the council had built the school it would have breached the term ‘countryside’ for that part of land, so the developer would have said ‘well, if you can build a school there then we can build houses’.

"We don’t know what the developer’s plans are now but at least this buys us a bit of time.”

Gladman Developments failed to comment.