Bid for homes on former caravan sales site rejected

Former Scotts Caravans site in Mayfield, Dalkeith, has been refused permission for housing. (Google Maps)Former Scotts Caravans site in Mayfield, Dalkeith, has been refused permission for housing. (Google Maps)
Former Scotts Caravans site in Mayfield, Dalkeith, has been refused permission for housing. (Google Maps)
Councillors reject bid for homes on caravan sales site despite support v.2

A bid to build nearly 80 new homes on derelict land once used as a caravan sales site has been rejected amid concern over a loss of trees on the site.

Plans for 78 new homes at the former Scotts Touring Caravans site in Mayfield, Dalkeith, were lodged by applicants Online Mayfield Scotland LLP with Midlothian Council.

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But at a meeting of the local authority’s planning committee this week, members voted to reject the proposals after officials said the land, which was not earmarked for housing, had 125 trees on it, many of which would be lost.

The abandoned caravan site once belonged to the mother of convicted killer Luke Mitchell.

She previously spoke out after 40 caravans within the park were destroyed following Luke’s conviction, describing the scenes as “utter carnage” after cops asked her to go out to the site at 3am.

The planned housing had been welcomed by Mayfield and Easthouses Community Council as well as Councillor Stuart McKenzie, the administration’s housing spokesperson, who told the meeting the site was “an eyesore which causes angst for the people who live there”.

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He said: “Putting on my housing convenor hat I would look at that (site) and say ‘is there a housing need in that area’ and the answer is an emphatic yes.”

Planning officers recommended councillors refuse the application describing it as ‘windfall’ housing which was not on land designated for homes in the authority’s local development plan.

In their report they said there was no justification for allowing the site, which ceased operating as a caravan sales site over a decade ago, to be turned into housing and warned there would be “significant and unacceptable loss of trees” if it was approved.

The report said that two buildings which had been on the site had now been demolished and acknowledged the applicant’s statement that it was a chance to redevelop the land.

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However the report said: “Whilst the planning authority would welcome appropriate redevelopment of this vacant and derelict site, it is the planning authority’s view that the proposed development is not appropriate for the site and that any policy support for redevelopment is insufficient to outweigh the lack of support for the principle of major scale non-allocated residential development on the site.”

The council received one objection from a local resident whose garden backs on to the site.

Councillors raised concerns about the impact of increased traffic from the new site and lack of GP services to cope with additional residents.

The committee voted by ten votes to six to refuse planning permission in principle for the housing.