New Beeslack High School plans go out to public

Plans for a new high school to be built at the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus are to be submitted within the next two months.

The site for the new school was revealed after the local authority signed a deal with the landowners over the summer.

A virtual meeting of the council’s planning committee was told public consultation events will be held in Beeslack High School, Penicuik, which the new facility replaces, on September 12 and October 10 with plans expected to be lodged before the end of October.

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The location of the new school was kept under wraps for more than a year as negotiations took place and an early front-runner site at Gowkley Moss Roundabout fell through.

The proposed site of the new Beeslack High School.

The council said the new school will be a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Centre of Excellence.

The school will be able to accommodate 1200 pupils with capacity to expand to take up to 1600 pupils and will have a dedicated learning space for children with Additional Support Needs.

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It will be built to energy-efficient Passivhaus standards meaning it will have very low carbon emissions, helping the council towards its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

A report to the planning committee this week said that while the requirement for public consultations had been temporary suspended during the pandemic and replaced with online alternatives, it had been decided to hold exhibitions on the new school face to face.

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The plans for the new school site at Easter Bush.

The committee was asked to note the Pre Application Notice for the school and details of the public events.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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Members also heard that while the site itself, which straddles Seafield Moor Road next to the innovation centre, was marked in the Local Development Plan as part of the Midlothian Science Zone and part of their housing supply land, both those requirements could be met or had already been met elsewhere.