Greens oppose ‘unsustainable’ Midlothian Local Development Plan over A701

Proposals to build a new A701 ‘Relief’ road and double the size of Straiton Retail Park led Green councillor Ian Baxter to move rejection of the proposed plan when it was brought before Midlothian Council on Tuesday 16th December. As his motion could not find a seconder, the plan was approved with minor amendments.

Councillor Baxter also challenged the decision to hold the discussion and decision in private, although this was overruled due to ‘commercial confidentiality’.

At the council meeting, Cllr Baxter said,

“It’s clear from recent Biodiversity and Climate Change reports that the council has neither the tools nor the inclination to objectively consider sustainability in the context of economic development. This worrying situation is confirmed by SEPA in a letter to the council dated 29 August 2013 where it stated that it would have welcomed a wider selection of questions on climate change than those set out and it felt that discussion on climate change issues had not been promoted.

“There are many reports published worldwide which clearly show that building more roads encourages more traffic, so what makes us believe that building the A701 Relief Road will be any different? How will this increase help us achieve the stated Strategic Aim of “responding robustly to the challenges of mitigating climate change

2 thoughts on “Greens oppose ‘unsustainable’ Midlothian Local Development Plan over A701

  1. Bruce Alexander

    I was wondering when somebody was going to speak out about the shocking destruction of Green Belt land around Loanhead, already effectively a suburb of Edinburgh. Who in this day and age needs a 4 or 5-bedroom houses? Who are going to live in these properties? Don’t know many families with more than 3 or even 2 kids. Somebody clearly has a vision of US-style strip malls connecting the towns of Midlothian to Edinburgh, including that monstrosity at Straiton. Meanwhile it remains difficult to travel between them unless you have a car. The Edinburgh trams project and proposal to rebuild the railway illustrate how short-sighted previous decisions related to transport were – it needs someone with a vision of a cleaner, greener future that goes beyond the next 5 or 10 years.

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  2. Ulla Hipkin

    People complain about the loss of shops in Penicuik town centre; the Straiton shopping area is the main cause!
    Traffic congestion and air and noise pollution through Penicuik are increasing and there are bottlenecks already along the main street. The new road proposal leading to the increase of car use and road transport is contrary to the policy acknowledging the serious threat of climate change. Also, what is the real financial and environmental cost of building these enormous car parks?

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