On the road to ward changes

Two Midlothian community councils have proposed changes to the boundary between them and are now looking for local people's views.

The groups' chairs Bill Kerr-Smith & Marnie Crawford at the proposed Starbucks and KFC site.

The proposals would see the A7 become the border between Bonnyrigg & Lasswade Community Council and Eskbank & Newbattle Community Council with some small areas east of the road currently under the Bonnyrigg ward.

Eskbank & Newbattle Community Council chairman Bill Kerr-Smith explained the need to change.

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He said: “For years Bonnyrigg were being sent stuff about planning applications relevant to us but weren’t really looking at them because they saw them as Eskbank.

“For instance, at Tesco Hardengreen we have got the McDonald’s application while the Starbucks and KFC application for just yards away came under Bonnyrigg. After the proposed changes that will be in our boundaries.”

Bonnyrigg & Lasswade Community Council chairwoman Marnie Crawford added: “We were being consulted about houses being proposed to be built on the other side of the A7 at Larkfield, which naturally fall into Eskbank. I contacted Bill, who hadn’t been consulted. And that’s where we started the conversation about boundary changes.

“It’s not a land grab or anything like that. We can still speak up about applications nearby. It’s really more about who is consulted as a statutory consultee.”

The groups will now hold a 90-day consultation period on their proposals. Bill added: “I’m very impressed with Midlothian Council and how they have facilitated the changes. They have been very supportive.

“I don’t think we need to have a public meeting. We have already publicised it on our Facebook page and will continue to do so. People can contact us with their views.”

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