Midlothian/ Edinburgh border homes approved despite local objections

Residents living in houses on the border between two counties have lost their latest battle to stop new developments growing on their doorsteps.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 8:54 am
Dalkeith councillor Colin Cassidy (SNP) urged committee members to approve the application.

Midlothian Council’s planning committee this week heard that people living at The Wisp, which runs across the boundary between Midlothian and City of Edinburgh, had objected to plans to add 80 additional homes to a newbuild at Cauldcoats, Dalkeith.

They submitted individual objections and a petition calling for the amendment to the approved plans for the site to be thrown out.

In their petition, residents said that while they did not object to development in principle, the new housing at Cauldcoats, alongside new housing proposed on the Edinburgh side of the boundary, was causing concern about increased traffic.

And they urged councillors to refuse the additional housing proposed by developers Paladin Ventures.

They were backed by Alison Johnstone, Lothian MSP, who wrote to the council pointing out that The Wisp was partially paved and narrow, and supporting the objectors.

In their petition to the committee, residents said: “This road section, which is narrow and only partially paved, is already congested and a known accident blackspot.

“This section of road was until recently in a semi-rural area and never designed for the volume of traffic it is experiencing now, let alone if these plans come to fruition.”

At a virtual planning committee meeting, Councillor Stephen Curran called for the application to be rejected and was backed by Councillor Kelly Parry, both citing concern about the increase of approved houses from 350 to 430 on the site.

However, Peter Arnsdorf, planning chief, told councillors that the amendment was simply moving houses already planned for a second phase of development on the land into the first phase and would not impact on the total number which would eventually be built on the land.

Councillor Colin Cassidy, despite telling planners that the word ‘extend’ was a more appropriate description for the amendment – adding “amend is a cuddly term” – urged committee members to approve the application, pointing out it was likely a refusal would be overturned on appeal.

He was backed by Councillor Catherine Johnstone.

The committee voted by 10 members to five to approve the application.