‘Nanny state’ claim at Midlothian Council

Midlothian Council Debating chamber at Midlothian House, Buccleuch St in Dalkeith
Midlothian Council Debating chamber at Midlothian House, Buccleuch St in Dalkeith

A pig farm, ordered to shut before new housing is built nearby, has had a reprieve after councillors branded the demand “nanny state”.

Plans to build 620 new houses on land across two farms at Millerhill, were given the go ahead at a council planning meeting last week. However, planning officers had added a condition demanding the pig farm, which lies on part of the site earmarked for housing at a later date, be closed before the first property is occupied.

They told councillors that concerns about “odour issues” for the new houses had been raised.

They added a condition to the planning application that insisted “no dwelling shall be occupied until the pig farm at Wellington Farm has cease to operate and all the pig manure on the site has been cleared from it.”

Planning committee chairman Councillor Russell Imrie (Lab) said the condition lacked common sense.

He said: “With regard to us requesting the pig farm be closed down, forgive me when I say this but if you’re going to buy a house you look at the environment round about you. You know there is a pig farm there, for us to determine what should be there – I am not quite sure I follow that.”

He was backed by Cllr Colin Cassidy (SNP), who said: “Sometimes we do step over into the realms of nanny state when it comes to these things.

“People are educated, they are going to buy a house and do their homework, they will look around and see there is a pig farm there.”

Peter Arnsdorf, council planning manager, pointed out that the pig farm was expected to be closed and turned into part of the proposed housing at some point as part of the plans. However, the committee agreed to remove the condition before approving the plans which will see housing built across Newton Farm and Wellington Farm, where the pigs are based, off Old Craghall Road.