Landmark agreement to deliver sustainable community at Shawfair

Shawfair Sustainable Growth Agreement signing

Midlothian Council and the developers behind the new town of Shawfair have signed a landmark Sustainable Growth Agreement which commits them to delivering a well-designed, sustainable community that promotes wellbeing and healthy lifestyles.

First of its kind

The three-year agreement between Midlothian Council, Shawfair, and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is the first of its kind in the planning and construction sector.

Effective partnerships

The shared vision of the three organisations recognises the effective partnerships created through the planning process to date, and identifies opportunities for increased collaboration in the future through great design, a commitment to low carbon heating, sustainable working practices, and the promotion of active travel and healthy lifestyles.

Zero carbon

One of the key projects covered within the new agreement is the planned district heating system for Shawfair’s town centre. This will be powered by surplus, zero carbon heat from the nearby recycling and energy recovery centre. District heating works by distributing heat from one source, via an energy efficient network, instead of having individual central heating systems in each building or home. It is expected that all viable buildings in Shawfair town centre – affordable housing, private homes, businesses, community premises and a health centre – will all reap the benefit of lower cost energy bills.

Ambition for new town

Ed Monaghan, a director of Shawfair LLP said: “Our ambition for our new town of Shawfair is to become a model for healthy living by creating a highly connected, sustainable environment and an attractive alternative to traditional suburbs.  The SGA will accelerate our progress in this regard and we look forward to working even more closely with our partners to make Shawfair a fantastic place to live and work.”

Sustainable development

Councillor Russell Imrie, Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities said:  “Our desire is for Shawfair to become a model for sustainable development, where good ideas can flourish and where local people can benefit from excellent access to employment, public transport and local amenities.”

Helping communities thrive

SEPA’s Chief Executive, Terry A’Hearn said: “At SEPA we’re focused on helping build an environmentally, socially and economically successful Scotland where communities and businesses thrive within the resources of our planet.  We call this One Planet Prosperity.


“To achieve this we need to work in new, innovative ways with public and private sector partners.  We’re delighted to be signing a Sustainable Growth Agreement with Shawfair and Midlothian Council and to be looking at opportunities to lock in sustainable development and living at this key location.”

Signing the agreement

Pictured left to right: SEPA Chief Executive Terry A'Hearn; Ed Monaghan, Board Director Shawfair LLP and Councillor Russell Imrie, Midlothian Council.

More information

20 Dec 2019