Landmark agreement launched to create exemplar new town at Shawfair

date19 December 2019

Sustainable Growth Agreement signed by SEPA, Midlothian Council and Shawfair is the first of its kind in the planning and construction sector to encourage collaboration and partnership working.

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  • Sustainable Growth Agreement signed by SEPA, Midlothian Council and Shawfair LLP

  • First of its kind in the planning and construction sector to encourage collaboration and partnership working

The developers behind the new town of Shawfair have committed to a landmark Sustainable Growth Agreement (SGA) that will accelerate the delivery of a well-designed, sustainable community that promotes wellbeing and healthy lifestyles.

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

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.

One of the key projects covered within the SGA is the planned delivery of a District Heating system for Shawfair’s town centre, powered by surplus, zero carbon heat from the adjacent Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre (RERC).

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 anticipated that all viable buildings in Shawfair town centre – affordable housing, private homes, businesses and community premises such as the proposed new Community Campus and health centre – will reap the benefit of lower cost energy bills. 

The principles and practical guidance enshrined in the Agreement will become the exemplar for the future with learnings shared with other organisations interested in sustainable development.

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.”

Cllr Russell Imrie from Midlothian Council 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.”

SEPA’s Chief Executive, Terry A’Hearn: “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.”