Statement on peat extraction at Auchencorth Moss, Penicuik

Midlothian Council has issued the following statement to clarify the position on recent media reports on a planning application relating to land at Auchencorth Moss, Springfield Road, Penicuik.

Planning permission

Peat extraction was originally granted on this site by planning permission (No.523/85), dated 6 March 1986. An amendment to the boundary of the planning permission area was approved by Midlothian Council in a letter dated 8 December 1989. The current Review of Old Minerals Permission (ROMP) application relates to the 1989 boundary. The planning permission expires on 28 February 2042.

Review of conditions

This ROMP application is the first submitted for planning permission No.523/85 to review the conditions of that permission, and cannot revisit the original permission itself. This review process places restrictions on the local planning authority and, as a consequence, it cannot restrict working rights such as to prejudice adversely to an unacceptable degree either the economic viability of the operation of the site or the asset value of the site. If it did so, the council would be liable to pay compensation for loss of income.

Site restoration

Midlothian Council has managed to secure the restoration of the site to a raised bog rather than to agricultural land as stated in the original planning permission. Furthermore, the applicant is also required to provide financial provision to secure the decommissioning, restoration and aftercare of the site. Restoration of the site would be completed by 28 February 2042.

More information

  • Planning applications and related documents can be found on our planning portal
11 Oct 2019