LCDS was formed to act in promoting the continuation of Lasswade as a thriving community and an environment in which it is a pleasure to live. One of the more important aspects of carrying out these aims is to monitor planning applications submitted to Midlothian Council and pass comment on these where there is a possibility of adverse effects on this environment.
The current Midlothian Local Development Plan (LDP) sets out the council’s strategy for maintaining and developing the use of land within the county. Within this plan the most relevant sections are those on Sustainable Place Making (DEV policies) and Protecting Our Heritage (ENV policies). Of particular relevance within these broad categories are policies relating to Green Belt and the Special Landscape area of Mavisbank, as well as the Green Network of the North Esk Valley Route. There are also 3 relevant conservation areas: Broomieknowe, Lasswade and Kevock, and Mavisbank. All of these are covered in the ENV policies. Within the DEV policies, of particular note are policies to preserve Identity and prevent coalescence, as well as policies relating to layout, design and landscaping of new developments. With regard to implementation of this plan in relation to Lasswade, there is a ‘Settlement’ statement starting on page 97 of the plan.
The Council is also one of six local authorities which published the South east Scotland Strategic development plan which has a significant influence on land use within the county. This plan puts obligations on Midlothian Council which have driven the large scale house building within the area, with a requirement to provide 12,490 new houses over the period 2009 - 2024. As these have impacts on Lasswade through increased traffic and pressures on infrastructure, we also keep an eye out for applications which have significance in these areas.
Planning applications are picked up using the Midlothian Planning online portal. We also appreciate cases being brought to our attention by members. Most applications are decided at the next meeting of the Planning Committee and the planning officers will usually accept comments up until a few days before this committee meets. If an application has been refused, the applicant can appeal to the Local Review Body who have overturned a number of decisions of the planning committee. In addition, a further layer of appeal is open to applicant in the Scottish Government Planning and Environmental Appeals Division, commonly known as ‘The Reporter’. The LDP is subject to such scrutiny and LDCS submitted comments following the publication of most recent LDP.
Below are some of the recent cases on which we have made comments: