Permission has been given for a new housing development in Balerno which the builders hope will provide some of the homes needed to meet the increased demand in the west of the city.
Councillors approved plans for a 206 new home development on a site off Lanark Road West and adjacent to Old Newmills Road.
The house builders CALA will use the site for residential homes but will also include a 3.1 hectare linear park with play facilities.
The developer has also promised to make significant contributions towards transport and education provision.
Craig Lynes, Land Director at CALA Homes (East), believes as a responsible developer, CALA will ensure that the local area benefits significantly from the decision to approve the Newmills development.
“We have had a strong presence in the Balerno area for many years. In recognition of this, we have supported many local causes and community events in addition to our long-running sponsorship of Currie RFC.
“Most recently CALA supported the Balerno Village Trust in purchasing football and hockey goals for the new 2G pitch at Balerno High School. This support to the local community will continue throughout the life of the development, as we understand our important role in ensuring the best possible long term outcomes for the area.”
As is usual the matter of planning went to the various local community councils for their comments, and it is fair to say that they were not wholly behind such a scheme.
Juniper Green Community Council lodged their dissent with this comment: “There are already many undeveloped Brownfield sites throughout the city, with potential capacity many times greater than the number of houses proposed here.”
Allister McKillop, Chair of Currie Community Council, said: “We are undoubtedly facing challenges at this time with unprecedented pressures being placed on our green belt and green sites with developers looking to build large volumes of housing.
“I do believe all of us recognise the need for suitable affordable housing, indeed Currie would certainly benefit from more retirement homes, but that doesn’t seem to fit in with current development. Some say our infrastructures are at breaking point, and until they are brought up to a reasonable standard no new developments should even be considered!
“We need to put pressure on CEC and developers to consider not only where they build but to reflect what the community actually wants.
“The Newmills development has been approved much to everybody’s surprise, but this must not stop us from ensuring our voice is heard. Together we are stronger so the community council will endeavour to strengthen our links with Balerno and Juniper Green to show a united front when dealing with future developments.
“Our infrastructures are at breaking point and until they are brought up to a reasonable standard no new developments should even be considered.”
Balerno Community Council opposed the planning application in 2015 saying that they were ‘unaware of any demands from Balerno residents for major housing developments with the Balerno area’. They also went on to note their concerns about the impact of increased traffic on the ‘already congested and polluted Lanark Road West’. They also noted that other housing developments at Ravelrig, 469 Lanark Road West, Mansfield Road and Cockburn Crescent in Balerno had at that stage been rejected on the basis of green belt policy.