Housing boom beyond Edinburgh green belt show city’s failure to meet its own demand – John McLellan

I’m not sure what company transport they offer at property consultancy JLL, but it must be good because according to one director, the fast-growing Blindwells new town near Tranent is “less than 15 minutes” from Waverley station.

House prices in Edinburgh are being pushed up by a lack of supply to meet the demand (Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA)
House prices in Edinburgh are being pushed up by a lack of supply to meet the demand (Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA)

According to the ScotRail timetable, the fastest train from the nearest railway stop, Prestonpans, takes 13 minutes to reach Waverley, so it’s just about possible, but it’s at least a mile down the road and there’s only one train an hour. On a good day.

It’s unlikely all of those living in the 1600 new homes going up there will need to commute every day, but once again the marketing of developments elsewhere in Lothian on the basis of proximity to Edinburgh stands as an ongoing illustration of the city’s failure to meet its own housing demand.

The effect is clear in prices too, because although competitive they are not what might be described as a snip for the extra travel involved in living down the A1, and without the charms of a Haddington or North Berwick.

It’s the same at Winchburgh; each one of the many housebuilders trumpet links with Edinburgh, which really means already congested roads. And in Midlothian, right up to Danderhall, scores of five-bed houses are available, offering space and smaller mortgages to people who might be sitting on hefty equity thanks to Edinburgh’s inexorably rising prices.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

This is the Edinburgh green belt in action; as long as the houses are built in another local authority area who cares?