How to submit comments before 18 May 2017 on the Miller Homes proposed development at North Middleton, Borthwick Castle Road

Make sure your voice is heard as a resident of Moorfoot, especially if you live, work, use the school or have other connections with North Middleton and Borthwick as the proposed development will affect you most.   If you would like to make a comment on the application, you can do it in several ways.  Whichever way you do it, please remember to quote planning reference 17/00224/DPP, and please note all comments must be submitted by 18th May 2017.

Read the report of the public meeting on 11th May in our previous post here: In summary the feeling of the meeting was that the number of houses was excessive and the building of two storey houses was unacceptable.  This development as it stands would bring no benefits to North Middleton and, in fact, would be detrimental to the environment and life enjoyed at present in the village.

1. Online

Go to the planning application page at:
https://tinyurl.com/mtv72s8
Register and login, then submit your comment, and quote planning reference 17/00224/DPP

2. By email

Send your comment quoting planning reference 17/00224/DPP to development.management@midlothian.gov.uk
with a copy to duncan.robertson@midlothian.gov.uk

3 By post

Send your comment quoting planning reference 17/00224/DPP to:
Development Management
Midlothian Council
Fairfield House
8 Lothian Road
Dalkeith EH22 3ZN

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May 2017: Summary of Public Meeting at North Middleton regarding plans for a large housing development of two storey houses on a greenfield site on the Borthwick Castle Road.

Miller Homes proposed housing development, Borthwick Castle Road, North Middleton

Note of Public Meeting with Miller Homes, North Middleton Village Hall

Thursday 11th May 2017

 

Moorfoot Community Council called this meeting to facilitate discussion about the proposed building of 34 houses, 29 private and 5 affordable, on a green field site opposite Moorfoot Primary School.

 

The meeting was attended by over 70 residents and the three Councillors for the Midlothian South ward who were there in a listening capacity.  Mr Tom Cahill, Area Technical Manager (Scotland), with his colleague, Liz Cunningham, gave a short presentation outlining the plans which are still in a preliminary stage.  The meeting was then opened to questions.

 

Miller Homes presentation

The proposal is for 34 houses of which 5 will be “affordable”.  The latter will be built by Miller but then sold to a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) who will manage the properties.  Miller has issued tenders for the RSL.  The plan is to start construction in late 2017/early 2018.  Construction will take 18-24 months.

The 20 mph speed limit in the village will be extended along Borthwick Castle Road to encompass the development.  There will be a new zebra crossing from the middle of the development, with a new footpath from there to the school.

The site is 4.5 acres in total, of which 3 acres is developable, leaving 1.5 acres of public space.

All trees on the southern edge of the site will be retained.

The footpath on the south side of Borthwick Castle Road will be widened (into the development site) to 2 metres.

Miller had had discussions with the council planning department.  The planners had made comments about roads, visitor parking, drainage, landscaping and other matters.  Developer contributions to infrastructure would be governed by a Section 75 legal agreement, a draft of which had been received from the Council.

 

Question session

There was a general strong feeling that this number of additional houses, which would add more than 25% to the current village size, would have an adverse effect.  The style of housing proposed was unsympathetic to the village and surrounding areas and no provision was being made to improve the infrastructure to support the increase in the village population.

 

There was general disapproval of any two storey houses being constructed, but at present the proposal is for the majority of the houses to be two storey with only 10 along Borthwick Castle Road to be 1.5 storey units.  It was claimed that 3 existing two storey house in North Middleton had established a precedent.  The affordable houses will be 5 terraced houses. It was suggested that there could be a stigma attached to these houses being so obviously different and it was suggested they should be dispersed throughout the site.  Mr Cahill answered that this would not be practicable for any Housing Association constructing these houses.  Questions were asked about how the style of housing would be affected by the site being within the boundaries of Borthwick Conservation Area.  Mr Cahill stated that the only effect would be on the choice of materials, yet to be decided.

 

Many asserted that the impact of increased traffic both from new permanent residents and from construction throughout the 18 – 24 month building time would be considerable.  Mr Cahill assured the meeting that planning conditions governing safety and movement of traffic would be strictly observed once settled.  Work would take place Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and on Saturdays 8am to 1pm.  Many, however, still expressed concerns about the risks of all the associated increase in traffic and brought up the question of the dangers at the A7 junction, already a worry for residents.  In addition to construction traffic, this development would generate a potential 70 extra car movements each morning and evening at the A7 junction, where there were already significant safety concerns.  Mr Cahill said that there was no requirement for a traffic assessment for this scale of development.

 

Another main concern was for the impact on the primary school of increased congestion and risk at the school entrance.  Also the primary school is presently at almost full capacity.  Mention of the developer’s contribution to education of £500.00 per house built did not satisfy the concerns on this question.  In addition there is the question of where new residents would find a GP.  There is no public transport between N Middleton and Pathhead and the Gorebridge practice has closed its books.

 

Miller Homes were unable to explain why the original limit of 15 on the number of houses on this site had been lifted but advised that the development had been put out to tender on the open market, Miller had put in a bid for 34 houses and in discussions with council planners they agreed that 34 houses was “a good fit” on the site.  34 houses in 4.5 acres was “not over-development”.

 

It was revealed that the energy to be used has not yet been decided.  Mains gas is not provided in the village, but even if this were to be brought in by Miller Homes it would not be made available by them to the whole village.  If electricity is to be used then it was suggested that this would require a new sub-station.  Solar PV panels would be provided on all house roofs but these would only be sufficient to meet 10% of electricity demand – a Scottish Government requirement.

 

Further questions about services ascertained that Scottish Water has still to report whether or not the present sewage facility would have the capacity to cope with the new houses.  If it does not then Miller Homes would not go ahead with the development.

 

Assurances were given that ecological matters had been assessed and that e.g. no trees on the periphery would be removed and the ecological consultants had advised that there would be no significant impacts.  The ecological assessment report was not being made available by the council because it could put endangered species at risk.

 

Mr Cahill was asked if consideration had been given to provision of Superfast Broadband and, if that was to be supplied by Miller Homes, would it be made available to the whole village?  This received a guarded positive response as Miller Homes aim to provide all their new houses with this facility.  Further questions about safety outside the primary school were answered by the information that the footpath will be widened by removing the current hedge along the south side of Borthwick castle Road and by creating a zebra crossing and increasing the extent of the current 20mph limit.  It was pointed out that there already was a zebra crossing.

 

There would be no impact on the Right of Way along the cleuch to the south of the site since it was outside their boundary.  There might be a possibility of a new footpath from the development connecting with the Right of Way although “the gradients would be challenging”.

 

There was no mechanism within Miller Homes to provide funding towards community facilities in North Middleton, for example under corporate social responsibility arrangements.  All developer contributions to infrastructure would be within the framework of the Section 75 agreement.  Mr Cahill suggested that if the community wanted to pursue additional funding for community developments they could speak to the council about expanding the terms of the Section 75 agreement.  The total sum involved in the Section 75 agreement was around £400,000.

 

Miller Homes would visit the primary school to discuss with teachers and pupils how the construction of the site would be managed.  There would be no lorry movements at critical times for the school.  Standard working hours would be 0800-1800 Monday to Friday and 0800-1300 Saturdays but these would be adjusted to fit the school’s requirements and set out in a Transport Management Plan.

 

No consideration had been given to approaching Lothian Buses to extend their services to North Middleton.

 

In summary the feeling of the meeting was that the number of houses was excessive and the building of two storey houses was unacceptable.  This development as it stands would bring no benefits to North Middleton and, in fact, would be detrimental to the environment and life enjoyed at present in the village.

 

Members of the public can comment on this proposal and we encourage you to give your opinion and make sure your voice is heard as a Moorfoot Resident, especially if you live near North Middleton and Borthwick, if your children attend the primary school or if you have other connections with the villages involved.

 

Miller Homes development:  how to submit comments

 

If you would like to make a comment on the application, you can do it in several ways.  Whichever way you do it, please remember to quote planning reference 17/00224/DPP, and please note all comments must be submitted by 18th May.

 

1. Online

Go to the planning application page at:
https://tinyurl.com/mtv72s8
Register and login, then submit your comment, and quote planning reference 17/00224/DPP

 

2. By email

Send your comment quoting planning reference 17/00224/DPP to development.management@midlothian.gov.uk
with a copy to duncan.robertson@midlothian.gov.uk

3 By post

Send your comment quoting planning reference 17/00224/DPP to:
Development Management
Midlothian Council
Fairfield House
8 Lothian Road
Dalkeith EH22 3ZN

3rd May 7pm – 9pm Meeting at Carrington Village Hall

Moorfoot Community Council monthly meeting

Wed 3rd May, 7 – 9pm

Carrington Village Hall.

 

Moorfoot Community Council would like to meet you!  To make this easier, we are holding meetings in different village halls. This month we are meeting on 3rd May at Carrington Village Hall. Last month we met at Temple Village Hall.

 

location –

The village hall is on the right hand side as you head west out of the village: from the Carrington Church/Village notice board on your right hand side, drive out of the village, past the left turn up the hill, and the village hall is the last building on your right.  There is a small car park.

Join Your Community Council

Moorfoot Community Council Elections

Community Councils are required to hold elections for their Councillors every three years.  Elections to Moorfoot Community Council are being held on 5th April this year.  There are at least six and up to twelve Community Councillor positions to be filled.  An election will only be held if the number of nominees exceeds 12 and there is more than one nominee for a Community Council officer.

If you would like to represent your community and help to make Moorfoot a vibrant and attractive place to live and work, why not put your name forward, or nominate someone who you think would be a good community representative?

Timetable:

  • February 2017           Nomination papers available for download from MCC website, from the Village Halls and from secretary@moorfoot.org.uk
  • Wed 29th March, 12 Noon       Deadline for nomination papers to be returned
  • Confirmation of whether a vote for elections is required if there are more than 12 nominees and/or there is more an one nominee for any specific post.
  • 29th March – 5th April     Confirmation of whether or not an election will be necessary will be posted on the website and will also appear in the Moorfoot area’s Public Notice Boards.
  • Wed 5th April, 6:45pm. Elections/Vote at the MCC Monthly Meeting at Temple.

 

Why Join the Community Council?

  • What do you love about living where you do, in the Moorfoot area?
  • What annoys you?
  • What would you like to change?
  • What would you like to keep and preserve?
  • What developments would you like to influence in our area? (whether to support or suppress)
  • How much are you concerned about what is happening in the Moorfoot area?

If you care about what is happening, why not stand for your local community council and represent residents in the area.

Some recent MCC achievements

  • Influencing planning proposals for a wide range of developments including wind farms, housing developments and others . We have made submissions on: Midlothian Local Development Plan; South East Scotland development plan (SESPlan); the restoration of the former Middleton Lime Works; a proposal for housing at Yorkston; developments at Currie Glen.
  • Together with Gorebridge CC,  negotiated the first boundary changes since the revised Midlothian Scheme for Community Councils.
  • Middleton Quarry – shaped the planning consent requirements and instigated setting up a community group with NWH.
  • Administering the MCC small grants.
  • Hosting communication events from developers regarding early stage proposals.
  • Initiated  broadband consultations to provide better speed broadband for more remote rural areas that are not supported by the high-speed fibre broadband roll-out.
  • In progress – purchasing the old BT phoneboxes, in Carrington and together with the Village Hall in North Middleton, to convert to a community facility and host a defibrillator, similar to many communities in England and more recently in Scotland.
  • In progress – contributing to developing the Moorfoot Neighbourhood Plan.

 

Recent legislation has given more powers to local communities, so there are many issues that we can have more of a say about and have wider influence.  Why not come and help make sure the local community’s voice is heard.

 

  • The Moorfoot Community Council requires between 6 and 12 Community Councillors, ideally representing all the residents in the Moorfoot area.
  • We are looking for representatives from
    • all locations – the villages (North Middleton, Temple, Carrington and Borthwick ), other hamlets and rural areas;
    • all ages from 16 to 106
    • men and women
    • all backgrounds
  • Essential Posts to fill at the meeting on 5th April: Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Minutes Secretary.  Additional roles that may be appointed at a later stage have included: Planning Representative (requires relevant experience related to planning), Vice-Chair, representative on the Midlothian Federation of Community Councils (usually taken on by several Community Councillors attending in turn), representative at the Gorebridge Medical Centre Patients Participation Group.
  • Commitment: 10 meetings a year, 1st Wednesday of the month usually meeting at North Middleton Village Hall and occasionally at Temple or Carrington Village Halls. Also to respond between meetings to issues raised by email.  Also representing MCC at occasional ad-hoc meetings for other bodies.
  • Moorfoot Community Council Constitution

 

How to Join the MCC

Under the recent revised Midlothian Council Scheme for Community Councils, Councillors must now be elected into position.

  1. Download the nomination form here: Word Document MCC-nomination-form-2017 or PDF  MCC-nomination-PDF-2017
  2. You can check your eligibility as stated on the nomination form and in the Midlothian Scheme for Community Councils approved__midlothian_scheme__june_2014_
  3. Complete the form with signatures from two independent nominators
  4. Submit your  the nomination form to the Secretary of MCC to ARRIVE before 12 noon on 29th March
    • Post to Secretary, Moorfoot Community Council, Old Schoolhouse, Borthwick, N Middleton, Midlothian, EH23 4QY
    • or email to secretary@moorfoot.org.uk
  5. Attend the election at the MCC monthly meeting on 5th April 2017 at 6.45pm.   An election will only be held if the number of nominees exceeds 12 and/or there is more than one nominee for a Community Council position.

 

 

 

Vote on Community Council Boundary Changes

Following the Consultation period

 

You can now VOTE

whether to accept the proposed boundary changes for Moorfoot and Gorebridge Community councils.

 

1st March N Middleton Village Hall 7pm

 

 

Gorebridge and Moorfoot Community Councils have agreed unanimously that the Taylor Wimpy housing estate under construction at Harvieston and the planned Redheugh housing development would be best transferred from the Moorfoot Community Council area to the Gorebridge Community Council area.

 

Residents in these new housing developments will be using mainly Gorebridge facilities so it appears desirable that these boundary changes should be put in place.

 

Now Moorfoot residents have the opportunity to vote on this proposal at the March meeting of the Moorfoot Community Council, details above.

 

Map: 

Proposed boundaries for MCC and Gorebridge CC– note this is a reasonably large PDF

 

Contacts:

Email: secretary@moorfoot.org.uk

Email: ccboundarychange@midlothian.gov.uk

Community Council Boundary Changes

Community Consultation

At a meeting between Gorebridge and Moorfoot Community Councils it was agreed unanimously by both Community Councils that Community Council boundary changes might be sensible.

This change would allow the Taylor Wimpy housing estate and the planned Redheugh housing development to be transferred from Moorfoot Community Council to Gorebridge Community Council.

Residents in these new housing developments will be using mainly Gorebridge facilities so it appears desirable that these boundary changes should be put in place.

 

There is now an opportunity for members of both communities to express their views by

Friday 16th December 2016

 View details: www.moorfoot.org.uk

 

Maps: Gorebridge Library or download here the suggested boundary map

Proposed boundaries for MCC and Gorebridge CC– note this is a reasonably large PDF

Contacts:

Email: secretary@moorfoot.org.uk

Email: ccboundarychange@midlothian.gov.uk

 

Post:

Secretary, Moorfoot Community Council,

Old Schoolhouse, Borthwick EH23 4QY

 

Speak to any of your local Community or

Midlothian Council Councillors