Pitched battle on facilities in Bonnyrigg

Hopefield residents association at the sports pitches across the road from Burnbrae Primary School. 'LtoR Sara-Jayne Reid, Gareth Reid, Julie Dale, Neil  Johnstone & Jennifer Stormont
Hopefield residents association at the sports pitches across the road from Burnbrae Primary School. 'LtoR Sara-Jayne Reid, Gareth Reid, Julie Dale, Neil Johnstone & Jennifer Stormont

Residents living on a new estate in Bonnyrigg are demanding to know why they are paying for sports facilities that aren’t managed.

The Hopefield Residents’ Association has compiled a report on all the issues it feels need addressed by developers Taylor Wimpey.

Taylor Wimpey has promised to look into the issues raised by the group, saying they were unaware of the problems until recently.

The Hopefield Residents’ Association was formed after the issue of the maintenance of the sports facilities in Hopefield came to light just over a year ago.

The objective of the group was to make sure that all residents received transparency of costs from all land management and factor companies that serviced the estate.

The association’s chairperson Sara-Jayne Reid now wants a meeting with all concerned parties to discuss the issue in full.

She said: “I have collected comments from the residents and tried to pull it together to go into negotiations with the developers.

“There are things that Taylor Wimpey had promised us but they have not been fulfilled. One of the big things was dedicated sports facilities they had to build in the estate. They are handing it over to Scottish Woodlands I believe, it’s not clear.

“It’s in a field where the development plan said they had to put dedicated sports facilities, across the road from Burnbrae Primary School. There are two or three seven-a-side pitches.

“The only problem is that you would have to pay Scottish Wooldland to play. At the moment they have not been handed over yet. So nobody can pay to play on them. Though there is nothing stopping people using them. As there is no physical presence and there is no gate.

“There are 775 homes at the moment on the estate. Last year we all got a letter to say we were due this amount of £184 per household.

“Supposedly it’s written in our deeds. We were never told about it.

“I would like a meeting with Taylor Wimpey, Scottish Woodland and Midlothian Council to get to the bottom of this. I really just want to understand what is happening but nobody has answered my emails.

“I am going to send the report to our local councillors to see what they can do.

“We want Midlothian Council to own the sports pitches. Because we see it as a huge benefit for the wider area, not just the estate.”

As well as the sports facilities, the residents’ group raised other concerns in its report, including a bridge promised at Mill Path and a boarded up patch of land designated as a neighbourhood centre.

Sarah MacAndrew, head of customer service for Taylor Wimpey, revealed that she and a senior project manager met the group this week. She said: “We can confirm that Taylor Wimpey is committed to addressing all the concerns that they have raised with us which we were largely unaware of until they came to light at the recent planning committee meeting.

“Specifically, in the coming days, we expect to be able to confirm to the Hopefield Residents’ Association the plans Openreach 
(a BT business) has to provide high-speed 
broadband at Hopefield.

“We agreed at this meeting that this is the first stage of an open and constructive relationship with the newly-formed Hopefield Residents’ Association, and therefore we have extended an offer to meet on a regular basis, and we feel confident that we will be able to work ever more closely together as the development at Hopefield progresses.”