Ian Murray MP Working Hard for Edinburgh South
Residents in Morningside have fought off numerous attempts to develop the much-loved Midmar Paddock site. It appears another proposal could be imminent after the land was sold to developers last year.
As I understand it, developers are looking to build a huge care home and two residential units on the site (see above). Nearly three quarters of Midmar Paddock will be lost to public access if Midmar Paddock is built on in accordance with the footprint plan outlined.
The site is very well protected through the Council’s planning system including “green belt” status, which makes development very difficult. As has always been the case however, developers are free to appeal refusals by the Council to the Scottish Government. The below image shows the consequences of this for the Liberton Gilmerton ward. Purple shows council approved development, orange shows Scottish Government appeals and yellow pending appeals.
We can see then that the Council is regularly overruled by the Scottish Government. This is on the basis of land supply to achieve housing targets. The Scottish Government’s National Planning Framework 3 states that local authorities should:
“identify a generous supply of land for each housing market area within the plan area to support the achievement of the housing land requirement across all tenures, maintaining at least a 5-year supply of effective housing land at all times.”
In terms of care home provision the Scottish Government also places requirements on local authorities. It states that:
“As part of the HNDA (Housing Need and Demand Assessment), local authorities are required to consider the need for specialist provision that covers accessible and adapted housing, wheelchair housing and supported accommodation, including care homes and sheltered housing. This supports independent living for elderly people and those with a disability. Where a need is identified, planning authorities should prepare policies to support the delivery of appropriate housing and consider allocating specific sites.”
This is what any developer appeal to the Scottish Government will be judged against so we must hope the Council has land allocated to support additional care homes. I am in the process of writing to them on this.
Residents are fed up fighting off recurring planning applications for green belt land. Developers only have to be successful once, communities need to win every time. We require a planning system that puts communities on an equal footing with developers and stops this war of attrition communities have to sustain to protect much loved green space.
As soon as we know more about the Midmar proposals I will be in touch with residents. However, please rest assured I will be objecting to this proposal in the strongest possible terms.
Please make sure you keep up to date via Friends of Midmar Paddock.