1400 homes line up for Borders rail link

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AT least 1400 new homes are set to be built in Midlothian ahead of the arrival of the Borders Railway.

Two major developments are planned for the former mining village of Gorebridge and another for Penicuik to meet the demand from workers looking to commute to Edinburgh.

The £295 million railway project is expected to be completed in 2014, with thousands of families predicted to settle along the new Waverley to Tweedbank line.

Property developer Taylor Wimpey will submit applications for 500 new homes at Greenlaw Mains, Penicuik, and 300 at Harvieston Farm, Gorebridge, in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, housing firm Persimmon Homes has recently begun constructing the first of 600 homes in Gorebridge.

The Gorebridge developments are minutes away from the new station on foot, with commuters from Penicuik expected to use the new park-and-ride service.

Midlothian South councillor Jim Muirhead, the region’s housing leader, said: “Around 54 per cent of the working population of Midlothian work in Edinburgh, so there’s a lot of people going in and out of the city every day.

“The new line being close to these developments will be very attractive to new families and prospective buyers looking for transport links to the city. Additional housing also brings new people to the area and will boost local businesses.”

David Marshall, business analyst for Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre, said: “Anything within easy commuting distance of the city will be very attractive to young families, who perhaps work in the city but can’t quite afford the family-sized properties.

“Buyers will weigh up the pros and cons of living outside the city, but it might be that they can save on car travel, having to park in the city centre, and being able to go out after work and not have to worry about how they will get home.”

Gorebridge is one of eight stops between Edinburgh and Tweedbank. The others include Brunstane and Newcraighall in east Edinburgh; Shawfair, Eskbank, Newtongrange and Gorebridge in Midlothian; and Stow, Galashiels and Tweedbank in the Borders.

Ian Thomson, managing director for Taylor Wimpey East Scotland, said: “We hope to bring the people of Midlothian approximately 500 quality new-build homes in Penicuik and around 300 new properties to Gorebridge, subject to approval by Midlothian Council.

“There will be a proportion of affordable houses within both proposed developments and there will be a good range of two to five-bedroom homes, townhouses and apartments, helping to address the need for more homes in these areas.”

Jim Kirkpatrick, managing director of Persimmon Homes East Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to have commenced this development and look forward to continuing interest from prospective purchasers in our full range of new homes.”