Ministers reject Midlothian planning appeal

Scottish Ministers have rejected an appeal to build houses on the greenbelt in Dalkeith.

Ministers reject Midlothian planning appeal

The Scottish Government Reporter rejected the plans to build homes at a site off Dalhousie Road, despite his own admission that the land is “indistinct”.

Developers issued an appeal to Scottish Ministers following the initial rejection of the plans to build on over two hectares of land beside Hardengreen House.

The plans included a retail park and business units, however, the developers added 20 new homes on part of the land which is designated as greenbelt, which led the project to be dismissed.

Midlothian councillors agreed with officers’ recommendations to refuse planning, and the local authority’s development management manager, Peter Arnsdorf, told councillors he believed they would have a “very strong case” to win any challenge to their decision.

The Scottish Government Reporter sided with council and refused an appeal against their decision, despite acknowledging that the greenbelt area lies in poor condition, The Scotsman reports.

He said: “From my site inspection, it is clear the greenbelt boundary is indistinct, with only a post and wire fence in poor condition demarcating it from the site.”

He added that he agreed with the developers that the area served no useful purpose and was subject to anti-social behaviour, with graffiti seen on an adjacent railway bridge.

However, he said taking away its greenbelt status would have to be done by reviewing the council’s Local Development Plan, not through a planning application.

He concluded: “The proposal does not accord with the development plan and there are no material considerations which would still justify granting planning permission.”

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