Groundworks begin at 544-home project in Penicuik
Essential enabling works are now under way at a recently-approved housing development in Midlothian.
Proposals from CALA Homes and Avant Homes to build at Mauricewood, to the north of Penicuik, were unanimously supported by the planning committee of Midlothian Council.
In total, 120 (22%) of the 544 new homes will provide affordable housing, helping to address a worrying shortage in the area which has been highlighted by planners.
CALA’s investment and presence in Midlothian’s biggest town stretches back to 1999 and includes its long-term sponsorship of Penicuik Athletic.
The housebuilder has also invested heavily in the wider Midlothian community, pledging £15.7 million towards the creation of new infrastructure, such as schools and leisure facilities across the county, as well as an estimated £15.6m boost to the local economy with the creation of more than 290 jobs.
The proposals for Mauricewood will see the creation of 389 detached homes, 20 semi-detached and 39 terraced houses, with a further 44 cottage flats and 52 flats in three-storey blocks.
Derek Lawson, land director at CALA Homes, said: “Enabling work has now started at the site and we’ve issued letters to locals to let them know more about the plans.
“We’ve worked closely with the local community over many years to ensure that these plans meet the need for new homes while also benefitting the people already living in Penicuik.
“The development is a very real investment in Penicuik. It will significantly benefit the town’s infrastructure, helping to improve schools, roads and local facilities. Meanwhile the local economy will also benefit, bringing valuable new custom to local businesses.
“We are part of the Midlothian community for the long term, that’s why we’ve worked for 20 years to see this development brought to reality and why we are so delighted with this planning decision.”
CALA’s record of delivering attractive communities, including affordable properties, at a wide range of sites across Midlothian has seen it work closely with Melville Housing Association at its Eagle’s Green development in Bonnyrigg to incorporate 14 high quality, affordable homes into a site next to Broomieknowe Golf Club.
Meanwhile, its developments at Mayburn Park, Straiton, and Chapel Lawns, Roslin, enabled major economic benefits for Midlothian.
In total, 1,108 new homes have been delivered across the four sites, stimulating local economic growth and created valuable employment opportunities, while meeting the need for quality homes in each area.
Mr Lawson added: “We’re proud of our work across Midlothian and are delighted that the benefits felt in other areas of the county will now be enjoyed by those in Penicuik.
“However, we’re keen that we don’t stop here and have applications at other sites such as one for 600 new homes at Millerhill, which would ensure we could invest in Dalkeith and ensure the housing shortfall is met there.”
CALA has enlisted external experts to ensure the new development is sympathetic to the landscape, with woodland areas retained as it provides an important backdrop to Penicuik and provide the new housing area with unique character.
The strategy for the site is to make the most of easy access to the existing transport network, while new access routes will also be developed to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.
The development will be phased between CALA and Avant Homes to minimise disruption to the surrounding area and provide a mix of housetypes from an early stage of the build.