The Planning and Development Context
The New Pentland Masterplan proposals occupy an accessible and sustainable location within the A701 Strategic Growth Corridor as identified in the adopted Midlothian Local Development Plan (LDP). The land is currently allocated in part under the policy provisions associated with Pentland Park and the remainder as countryside land. A very minor portion is identified as agricultural land, albeit it is not under agricultural use. Accordingly, the proposals represent an opportunity not considered within the current LDP.
Neverthelss, the masterplan does comply with the spatial strategy of the adopted LDP and the specific policy allocations across a portion of the site. This land is best described as an island of greenfield within a sea of commercial and economic development and land use proposals, the latter now including a new indoor leisure and entertainment arena to the north. In addition, the proposals for a new, realigned A701 Relief Road have secured funding through Edinburgh City Deal and this key piece of infrastructure will be delivered in coming years, further increasing the development potential of land within this growth corridor.
The longer term growth aspirations of the development plan will further isolate this land in relation to its surroundings. Indeed, its continued retention under protective greenfield land policies contradicts the growth strategy for this area. It represents an economic development opportunity within an area specifically designated to accommodate strategic scale development.
The masterplan proposals, set out in this exhibition, will show how this site can make a meaningful contribution to the area, whilst respecting and adopting the core principles of good placemaking and sustainable development - as laid out within key Government policy and guidance.
The Development Opportunities
With reference to the diagram above, a series of broad opportunities were recognised, building on the site's natural form, views and aspect. These opportunities can be broadly summarised as follows:
- Deliver a mix of new development, in scale and massing, that complements the surrounding varied mix of uses - with an accent on innovation.
- Reinforce building lines to the A701 with new development.
- A new focal point at the Damhead/Pentland Road/A701 intersection, with potential for new public realm alongside to link with Bus interchange.
- Maximising view opportunities out of the site particularly to the west.
- Create new buffer green space with new planting planting along the western boundary.
- A relocated and enhanced central amenity open space, that allows it to become the central focus of any new development opportunity.
- New and revitalised movement patterns for pedestrians and cyclists.
- A new sustainable drainage facility to reinforce the green infrastructure used alongside the pedestrian circulation pattern, as a visual feature and adding to bio-diversity.
- A new Damhead / Pentland Road road character, to mirror the potential green buffer corridor anticipated in the strategic growth intentions, to the north of the proposal site.
These broad objectives, initially included in the indicative masterplan (within the Vision Document, October 2019), have been developed further and incorporated into a series of new options (shown on the following panels). Potential land use combinations are proposed, along with their design propositions and potential character, shown indicatively, on the accompanying masterplan layouts.