A SWATHE of land earmarked for residential housing before the economic downturn is on the brink of a revival.
Real estate agency Rettie & Co received multiple inquiries from developers within 48 hours of advertising a slice of land for sale near Newton Village in the middle of the Capital’s “south-east wedge” this week. The 1.17 hectare property is situated a quarter of a mile from the new Shawfair town centre site – a zone originally earmarked as one of Scotland’s largest housing proposals with a capacity for 4000 homes.
David Reid, associate in Rettie’s land development and investment team, said plans for the area had stalled during the downturn, but the recent surge of market interest showed confidence was returning amongst developers. He said: “There’s a lot more interest and more activity than there was even a few months ago, a lot more confidence. The [Border] rail line’s definitely going to help that area a huge amount. Down that line, you should definitely see a lot more interest. We’re aware that development is starting in the area. Phase one of the south-east wedge at Millerhill is due to start in July 2014.”
The Shawfair development centred around the villages of Danderhall, Millerhill and Newton is tipped to include 800 affordable homes and 30ha of business and medical park, along with the creation of a new local centre. Developers Mactaggart & Mickel have already submitted a planning application to Midlothian Council.
Dalkeith Ward Councillor Alex Bennett said the region was ready to “kick start”. He said: “It’ll be a big boost to the construction industry.”
Councillor Bob Constable, pictured, cabinet leader for travel in Midlothian, said the construction of the Borders Railway line was helping speed up development, adding: “We’re in no doubt that new train stations at Shawfair, Eskbank, Newtongrange and Gorebridge will help deliver major economic and social development opportunities.”
Midlothian boom towns
REAL estate agency Savills says sales of Midlothian properties soared 38 per cent in the first six months of 2013. Head of research Faisal Choudhry said: “There are currently ten new live housing developments in Dalkeith and Bonnyrigg, both in easy reach of the proposed Eskbank and Newtongrange stations. Our clients are reporting large numbers of city centre buyers.”