Midmar Paddock is much-valued local amenity. Although contiguous with Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill, it is privately owned. It is (or should be) protected from housing development by being designated in the Local Development Plan (LDP) as Greenbelt, Open Space, a Special Landscape Area and a Local Nature Conservation Site. During the consultation on the LDP in 2014/15, a representation was made to re-schedule it for housing. We (and many others) objected and the designations were retained. Since then the site has been twice advertised for sale as a “development opportunity”. There has been no outcome in terms of a planning application but local residents are concerned that this will eventually be tried – despite the theoretical bar on development. Moreover, we have to anticipate that the next revision of the LDP will provoke another attempt to remove the protective designations.
Friends of Midmar Paddock
At a public meeting on 18 September, chaired by Cllr Neil Ross, a Friends of Midmar Paddock group was formed with the support of local politicians across parties. The Constitution of the group (updated Dec 2019) is here and the latest campaign leaflet is here.
Annual General Meeting
This was on 14th January 2020.
Survey of usage
The Friends of Midmar Paddock have carried out a survey to find out how frequently Midmar Paddock is being used and which paths are most used. The trustees attended the Edinburgh Local Access Forum on 31st January and tabled 760 User Survey forms recording 2,332 signed records of path usage within the Paddock. This is seen as a very substantial amount of evidence in favour of Rights of Way being declared across the Paddock. The submission was received favourably by the Forum and it now goes forward to the city’s lawyers to consider the case for asserting up to six Rights of Way.