Community Council Meeting 4th April -Cancelled

With apologies for the short notice, this meeting has been cancelled due to the weather conditions.

 

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Moorfoot Neighbourhood Plan

The Moorfoot Neighbourhood Plan is being developed through discussions with local groups across the region.

Currently in its draft stages, the document identifies themes for areas of support relevant to preserving as well as enhancing the rural qualities of the local Moorfoot communities. Ideas for improvement and steps to achieve those aims are timetabled within the document, along with the agencies likely to be involved.

If you would like to be involved in the steering group for the Moorfoot Neighbourhood Plan, please get in touch with:

Gillian Cousin: gillian.cousin@midlothian.gov.uk

You can also see the current working document here, which will be updated regularly.

121217 Moorfoot Neighbourhood Plan DRAFT

Moorfoot Farm Woodland Creation Proposal

Wednesday 11th April 4:00 – 7:30 pm at CARRINGTON VILLAGE HALL

INFORMAL DROP-IN and PRESENTATION

The Community Council has been approached by Rosebery Estates with a proposal to create a new forestry plantation of approximately 185 hectares on a 340 hectare site in the Hog and Cotley Hills, southwest of Gladhouse Reservoir.

The proposal is being prepared with some attention to biodiversity, preservation of archaeological interests and protection of habitats and wildlife, and in response to informal consultations with Scottish Natural Heritage, Midlothian Council, Scottish Environment Agency and Scottish Water. The proposal will be submitted at the end of April to the Forestry Commission Scotland.

There will be an opportunity to find out more about this proposal and to ask questions at a drop-in event at Carrington Village Hall on Wednesday 11th April 4:00 to 7:30.

The agent, Mark Hamilton Landscape Services, is interested in hearing the views of the Community Council as well as anyone else about this proposal.

Comments should be sent to 
mail@mhlandscapeservices.co.uk by 16th April.

Details of the proposal are in the documents below.

Cover letter introducing the proposal: Moorfoot CC MWC

Location map: Moorfoot Location Map

Species design for woodland area: 6 Moorfoot wc Species Design5

 

Defibrillator Project

As part of the Moorfoot Neighboorhood Plan, Moorfoot Community Council have now signed a contract and paid a nominal sum for the purchase of the BT kiosks in North Middleton and Carrington which can each then be used to house a defibrillator inside a heated cabinet.

As the BT kiosk in Temple has not yet been decommissioned and cannot be purchased, Temple Village Halls Association is planning to install a defibrillator on an exterior wall of the Village Hall.

BT have yet to complete the handover, so the timescale for moving the project forward in N Middleton and Carrington is for the moment dependent on BT.

Temple Village, however, can press ahead and Moorfoot Community Council will offer support as required.

Moorfoot Community Council, along with N Middleton and
Carrington Village Halls will undertake to:
  • Organise fund raising
  • Organise the refurbishment of the 2 BT kiosks
  • Evaluate and purchase the equipment
  • Organise installation by a qualified electrician
  • Organise training of local volunteers in CPR and the use of a defibrillator
  • Set up a system to monitor and test equipment
  • Be responsible for maintenance

Volunteers will be needed for

— Fund raising

— Training in CPR and the use of defibrillators

— Monitoring of equipment as well as local communication of access details

If you would like to know more or are interested in getting involved to support this project, long or short-term, please get in touch with the Secretary at Moorfoot Community Council: secretary@moorfoot.org.uk
For further updates please continue to visit the Moorfoot Community Council website.

 

Community Litter Pick

Saturday 24th March 2018 at 2 pm

Starting at Temple Village Hall members of Moorfoot Primary School and their families will walk to Gladhouse Reservoir, where hot chocolate and refreshments will be served. Younger walkers can start later at the T-junction with Toxside crossroads.

Pupils at Moorfoot Primary have noticed a local problem with litter and have worked with the PTG to address this through sponsorship for their Litter Pick from Temple to Gladhouse.

For those unable to make it on Saturday the 24th, there will also be a similar event at North Middleton on Friday 23rd starting at 12.30 with children and families walking through the village.

This event was developed partly out of discussions around the Moorfoot Neighbourhood Plan, a document that identifies areas of action relevant to the communities across the Moorfoot area and sets out achievable objectives for meeting local and individual requirements within a rural setting.  There will be more information about the Neighbourhood Plan and its future development  when the  Litter Pick takes place at Moorfoot Primary School on Friday 23rd March.

 

 

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

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