Midlothian Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP) has been approved, setting out the blueprint for the growth of the county for the next 10 years.
An indication of likely benefits to the area has been set out by independent experts, who assessed the economic impact of current and planned developments in Midlothian.
Experts say developments by housebuilder CALA Homes would result in an economic boost of over £300m across Midlothian, including 158 full-time jobs, a £155m cash injection to the local economy and £15.7m of improvements to schools, leisure facilities and infrastructure – as well as the creation of new homes.
Derek Lawson, land director with CALA Homes (East), said: “With its LDP now approved, Midlothian Council has set out its investment and development strategy for the next 10 years.
“That is a very significant position statement on how it sees new homes being delivered and what the planning requirements will be. Now we in the construction sector have an opportunity to complement that by supporting Midlothian Council.
“Responsible developers like CALA want to get our own investment strategies aligned with the LDP and want to engage fully with the council toward fully delivering its aims.
“We hope the publication of this economic impact report shows how this about far more than simply creating new homes. The construction sector has a huge and positive role to play in helping local trades to thrive, creating local jobs and helping support town centres.
“It’s also worth noting that these figures are purely the benefits which will be delivered locally as a result of CALA Homes developments. The council will also be engaging with many other developers to achieve the numbers of new homes needed for the next 10 years.”
The report suggests the economic windfall for Midlothian would be delivered in three distinct areas - construction benefits, local community benefits and local authority revenue benefits.
This includes a £160m economic boost via the total cost of construction as well as a £15.7m injection to the local community to help fund schools, leisure facilities and infrastructure. The report also estimates a boost of £155m to the local economy as a result of the added value to the area from building work carried out.
Furthermore, construction would create 158 full-time jobs – the equivalent 1,585 years of employment. There would also be 140 spin off jobs in supply chain roles.
The experts predict that CALA’s work across Midlothian will provide a £6.1m boost to local shops as new house buyers customise their new properties, with a further £9.5m spent by new residents in local towns.
The payments made by developers to provide key infrastructure such as roads and schools, known as ‘Section 75’ contributions, will total £15.7m while the new homes are set to provide a £2.6m annual boost to Midlothian council tax revenues.
Derrek Lawson added: “We are proud to be investing already in Midlothian thanks to the work that has started on our three high-quality developments and believe our plans for Penicuik and Newton Farm will enhance the positive impact for the entire county.”