THE bulk of extra housing needed for Scotland’s south-east is set to be built within the Edinburgh district boundary under a deal struck with neighbouring authorities, putting the Capital’s green belt under greater pressure.
It is understood the Capital will have to find space for as many as 5000 of more than 10,000 extra homes needed to meet the Scottish Government’s building targets set for 2024.
The number is needed to meet the gap between original estimates and the new target of 107,500 new homes for the region which the Government now says will be needed to meet growing demand.
The remainder of the extra homes needed in the next decade are expected to be met by Midlothian and Fife councils.
The proposed deal is to be put to Monday’s meeting of the Strategic Planning Authority for Edinburgh and South East Scotland (SESplan) at which the allocation of house building targets for each local authority will be finalised.
The announcement is a serious warning for those opposed to the development of swathes of countryside surrounding the Capital.
Edinburgh City Council revealed a blueprint earlier this year showing up to 2000 homes would be built in the next ten years by reclassifying green belt land at Maybury and Cammo in the city’s west.
Property firm Murray Estates has said the Government’s new homes goal cannot be achieved without an agreement for major development on the green belt.
Company owner Sir David Murray has aspirations of creating a garden district development worth up to £1 billion on land west of the city.
Jestyn Davies, managing director of Murray Estates, said last week of the Government’s ambitious targets: “This is a formidable task, and it is my belief that without the inclusion of the proposals for Edinburgh’s garden district, Edinburgh will fail to meet its share.”
Edinburgh Western MSP Colin Keir is strongly opposed to potential housing developments at Maybury and Cammo – just east of Edinburgh Airport.
He intends to write to Edinburgh council urging it to investigate building on brownfield sites at all costs and to review transport connections into the city.
Mr Keir claimed congested roads in the western suburbs could not cope with any more traffic, citing the Maybury and Barnton intersections as two junctions that were already at breaking point.
“There are already huge pressures on the western side of the city,” he said. “You’ve got an airport, you’ve got an expanding housing market in the likes of West Lothian, you have proposals there to put thousands of houses on the western periphery, but how do people get in and out?”
Mr Keir said he wanted extra homes to instead be built near Edinburgh Park, which he described as one of Scotland’s most under-used stations.
Murray Estates is proposing to build a business village that would include 1500 homes located within walking distance of Edinburgh Park.