£100m community set for Edinburgh outskirts
WORK is set to start on a £100 million development on the outskirts of the Capital which will create a new community of more than 10,000 people.
Almost 20 years after the Shawfair vision was first mooted and eight years since the first detailed plans were made public, new artist's impressions show how the community will look when complete on Edinburgh's south-east wedge.
Built in phases over the next 15 years, Shawfair will have 4800 homes, two large primary schools, a town centre with retail and community facilities and a railway station on the new Edinburgh- Borders route.
The new community is to be built on a mixture of green and brownfield land on sites at Shawfair, Millerhill, Danderhall and Greendykes, as well as the site of the now-defunct Monktonhall Colliery.
One of the developers involved with the project, Buccleuch Property, is in talks with a private hospital operator about the possibility of opening a 40,000 square feet private hospital at Shawfair Business Park.
The firm hopes to start work on three office buildings - at 10,000sq ft, 7500sq ft and 5000sq ft - in September, along with the first part of a new spine road which will eventually slice through the centre of Shawfair.
Cycleways, footpaths and a public park will also be included in the new town, with each residential area to be within walking distance of the town centre.
Sandy Smith, development director of Buccleuch Property, said: "Come Christmas time you should see a finished park-and-ride and new roundabout on the A7, which Midlothian Council is building.
"We have detailed consent [for the new offices] and are very hopeful we will be on site at least by September."
He added: "We have outline consent for a 40,000sq ft private hospital and are in discussions with an operator."
Alan Bell, associate director of Miller Developments, said he hoped the construction of the first houses would start next spring.
A mix of family homes and flats, 20 per cent of which will be affordable housing, is be built in Shawfair.
"Affordable accommodation is at a premium in Edinburgh and a lot of people are having to travel from Fife to come into the city," he said.
"With a station on your doorstep, Princes Street is only ten minutes away. It's basically an extension of the city. It is a huge project with a history that goes back 20 years."
Midlothian Council, Edinburgh City Council and Miller Developments created a joint venture, Shawfair Developments Ltd, to work on the scheme.
Councillor Ian Murray, deputy convener of the city council's planning committee, welcomed the progress. He said: "The south-east wedge development is very much welcomed by the council, as it will relieve housing, business and leisure pressures.
"In particular, the 'medipark' on the land around the Royal Infirmary will give us a strong economic base for providing jobs and allow us to provide Europe and the rest of the world with major technological and biotechnology advances."
A Midlothian Council spokeswoman said: "The Shawfair development is progressing through the planning process and the Midlothian planning committee has said it is of a mind to approve the master plan."
Royal seal of approval for Border's rail link
A PLANNED rail link between Edinburgh and the Borders has been given the seal of approval by the Queen.
The Waverley Railway (Scotland) Act was given Royal Assent yesterday, bringing the Scottish Borders and Midlothian within touching distance of a rail link to the Capital. The proposals were first put to the Scottish Parliament in 2003 and were ratified by ministers in June.
Under the new legislation, the line between the Capital and Tweedbank will be reopened for the first time in nearly 35 years. However, funding must first be released before work can commence.
Transport Minister Tavish Scott said: "This rail line will increase economic opportunities and improve quality of life for communities in Midlothian and the Borders - connecting them not only to Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland, but through the Edinburgh airport rail link to truly global markets."
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North west