The development was officially launched in 2014 by - then – Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, with a railway station opening the following year. Work is now well underway with homebuilders Bellway, Mactaggart & Mickel Homes and Miller Homes reporting strong sales. A fourth housebuilder, Dandara, is due to begin building during 2019.
When complete, Shawfair will have 4,000 homes, together with a new ‘community campus’ – schooling from age 3-18, community and sporting facilities – around a new town centre. It marks the region’s biggest urban expansion in recent times.
Named after a 19th century farmstead which remains to this day on a ridge overlooking the site, Shawfair has been carefully designed with a focus on three main elements: enabling positive life/work choices; providing quality outdoor space to encourage healthy lifestyles; and community involvement in how buildings and outdoor space are used.
An open and welcoming town centre is planned around the existing Shawfair railway station with shops, offices, restaurants, swimming pool, markets, art galleries, library and health centre to offer residents the perfect place to meet friends and family, shop, eat out or do some work. To help with flexible working, there will be drop-in office space in the town centre, and the area will be covered by free Wifi.
The team behind the development has contributed £56 million to Midlothian Council to expand education, community and sports facilities, and to boost public transport including the Borders Railway which runs through the heart of Shawfair. Regular services to Edinburgh take 15 minutes, with ScotRail planning to introduce longer trains during 2019; in the other direction, the Scottish Borders are around 40 minutes away.
Shawfair also features 160 acres of green space with large parks as well as smaller woodland areas to play in and explore and there are eight miles of paths to encourage people to walk or cycle. Discussions are underway with the local community about setting up community gardens with the aim of encouraging residents to be more active and to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.
In a bid to reduce energy use and keep bills down, home and businesses around Shawfair town centre will be linked by a district heating system, meaning zero-carbon sourced heat is piped to each property.
Shawfair has plenty to offer: a range of accommodation to suit families, first-time buyers, downsizers and everyone in between, along with healthy rural living, excellent transport connections and superb value for money. To find out more about Edinburgh’s new neighbour, visit www.shawfair.co.uk