Randori Social Enterprises, which is run as a not-for-profit company, applied for planning permission to change the use of an industrial unit at Hardengreen Business Park into its new home. The firm, which was set up by Mark Taylor two year ago, offers judo and martial arts lessons across the county.
In its planning application, it said: “The vision for Randori Social Enterprises is to provide all members of the community the opportunity to have positive experiences and outcomes which include physical, psychological, social and emotional wellbeing through long-term participation and involvement in Randori Judo Community judo clubs, projects and events.”
It said its founder Mr Taylor became involved in Judo as a young boy in Gorebridge and provided after-school clubs and taster sessions across schools and the community.
It said: “This encompasses more than just physical activity but increases self-esteem and mental alertness, teaching life skills like teamwork, leadership and patience.”
The application received 26 letters of support.
A report by a planning officer said that while the application to change the use of the building was not generally part of Midlothian policy, previous applications to turn a neighbouring unit from industrial use to an indoor firearms range were approved.
And it said two previous changes of use from offices to leisure which were initially refused planning permission were later overturned by the council’s own Local Review Body.
It said: “Although the proposed change of use does not generally comply with policies, the recent Local Review Body decisions and reason for the decisions outweigh this. Therefore, the principle of the proposed change of use is acceptable.”