FAQs

In case you require further details,
we’ve prepared a list of frequently asked questions to help answer any queries you may have.

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Living at Shawfair

Who is responsible for the landscaping in the communal areas around my property?

Garden maintenance in communal areas on your development is normally carried out by external contractors organised by your factor and or developer. You would need to contact your factor for queries about the frequency of maintenance and the type of work they do.


If there is fencing still up, who do I contact to have it removed?

Temporary fencing is in place on construction sites for safety reasons. Protecting the residents is the most important function for construction site fencing. It stops people trespassing onto dangerous areas. The fencing will be removed when it is safe to do so. If you have queries about fencing that is damaged, please contact our contractors, JSL Security Services at shawfair@jslservices.co.uk.


Is there a local community council in the area for local advice on planning and community development?

The local community council acts as a voice for its local area. The community council that covers the Shawfair areas is the Danderhall and District. You can contact them by email on ddcommunitycouncil@gmail.com and follow the Council’s Facebook page. They are currently looking for new members from the community.


I often see people working at the weekend weeding and gardening. Is this a local group?

The Danderhall and District Guerrilla Gardeners is a group of local residents, who volunteer regularly, giving up Sundays and evenings, to work in and around the community, weeding, tidying up shrub beds and verges. The group also plants up communal areas to enhance their appearance and to help build habitats to encourage wildlife into the areas of green space. If anyone is interested, the group encourages membership from all walks of the community to be an inclusive and welcoming group you can find them on Facebook.


Who is responsible for landscape maintenance for Shawfair?

Maintenance of land in and around Shawfair is the responsibility of several people. Each development will have a factor looking after landscaping. Midlothian council looks after road verges and Shawfair LLP also owns and maintains land.


What if some areas are not being maintained, is there a telephone number or email address for all the parties involved across the development I can contact?

The contacts would be your individual factors, Midlothian Council on tel. no tel:01315615280 or email at landscapeandcountrysideenquries@midlothian.gov.uk or Shawfair on https://www.shawfair.co.uk/contact-us. Sometimes the land ownership is not completely clear, however the local Guerrilla Gardeners are working with the Council and Shawfair LLP to adopt areas across the estate that need attention.


I know that there are community facilities as part of the masterplan for Shawfair, in the meantime is there a local community centre also planned?

The Mactaggart and Mickel development has been designed with the aim of creating a brand new neighbourhood, around the Millerhill Community Hub which will provide a mixture of local retail and community health facilities. The wider Shawfair development will also provide two new primary schools and a brand new secondary school campus and other community facilities including a public library and community hall.


What cycleways are available?

There are numerous cycling opportunities around Shawfair. Sustrans in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council, Midlothian Council and contractors, RJ McLeod, has created a 3km traffic-free route to connect residents with local amenities including shows, schools, the train station and park and ride.

For more information about the cycle routes, you can check out details for Midlothian on the Sustrans website.


What public transport is available into Edinburgh and locally?

Shawfair railway station is right beside the emerging town centre. Regular services to Edinburgh take 15 minutes, with ScotRail planning to introduce longer trains. ­In the other direction, the Scottish Borders are around 40 minutes away.

Sheriffhall Park and Ride operated by City of Edinburgh Council - is minutes from Shawfair beside the A7, with over 500 spaces and frequent buses to the city centre via the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

The Edinburgh City Bypass (A720) offering speedy links to Edinburgh Airport (14 miles), Glasgow (50 miles) and other destinations. The A1 is also close by.

Contact details for buses are: https://www.lothianbuses.com/maps-and-times/network-maps/

Contact details for trains are: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/


Are there plans for new local bus routes as the development progresses? If there is, where could I find information about them?

The current infrastructure makes Shawfair very well connected. Midlothian Council is responsible for the areas transport strategy and this is prompted by Scotland's National Transport Strategy which is for greener and more sustainable travel; see https://www.midlothian.gov.uk/info/200279/roads_and_travel/243/transport_policy for more info. For specific information about new services contact Lothian Buses or Scotrail.


Are there eclectic points around the developments for electric cars?

In the new developments being built there will be provision for electric vehicles as part of the wider Development Plan. Midlothian will be promoting the provision of electric vehicle charging stations through the development of its own land and property as well as participating in initiatives with other agencies, educational establishments and car park operators. Details of existing portals are found here: https://www.midlothian.gov.uk/EV-charging.


Are there any plans for allotments for residents?

Enjoying the outdoors is an important part of the Shawfair experience. There are plans for allotments to be included in the plans and the locations are to be determined by Midlothian District Council.


Who is responsible for grass cutting and verges alongside main roads?

This is managed by Midlothian District Council Tel. 0131 561 5280 landscapeandcountrysideenquries@midlothian.gov.uk. You may see volunteers also working on verges and areas across Shawfair and this is the Guerrilla Gardeners group who adopt and care for certain areas.


If you notice litter and a full bin, who do you contact?

We hope all residents and visitors to Shawfair will carry litter to the nearest bin or take it home with them. Litter bins are provided by the Midlothian Council and are emptied regularly. There are also volunteers who litter pick to help protect the environment. However, the responsibility lies with the individual for using a bin or taking it home. Midlothian Council Litter and Street Cleaning department can be contacted to report a full bin and dog fouling on contactcentre@midlothian.gov.uk


How do you help to keep the Shawfair Development area clean and rubbish free?

We hope that residents and visitors will enjoy the environment we are creating at Shawfair and act responsibly when it comes to litter and bin it or take it home. We also employ a security team from JSL security to identify fly tipping and clear it up if it is on Shawfair land. We try and do this as quickly as possible, and you can email incidents to shawfair@jslservices.co.uk. Sometimes the problem is not on our land and on areas owned by Network Rail or the Coal Authority for example. If this is the case, we will direct the complaint to the organisation responsible for the land and its upkeep. Our aim is to keep the development rubbish free and pleasant place to be.


I own a dog and want to know if there are any recommended dog walks in the area and who is responsible for providing dog poo bins?

There are plenty of fabulous walking areas at Shawfair. There are community woodlands spanning the equivalent of 65 rugby pitches. There are also stunning parks at Dalkeith and Portobello Beach is only 4 miles away.

Midlothian Council is responsible for dog bins and if you want to report dog fouling. You can contact them on tel. 0131 561 5284 or email on contactcentre@midlothian.gov.uk. It is against the law for anyone who is responsible for a dog to not clean up after the dog has fouled. They face a fixed penalty fine of £80. The fine increases to £100 if it is not paid within 28 days. The maximum fine is £500 if convicted of an offence.

Midlothian Council promotes responsible dog ownership by:

  • telling dog owners about their responsibilities
  • taking enforcement action against offenders
  • giving talks to primary school children
  • giving out free dog poo bags at council offices, leisure centres and libraries
  • putting dog waste bins at various places throughout Midlothian
  • putting up "No Fouling" signs.


Is Shawfair LLP responsible for all the development areas?

Just like any medium sized town Shawfair has many different landowners. Therefore, sometimes we may have to re-direct your comments and suggestions. We will respond when we can and will refer you to the correct parties who own the land. We do have a map on our website that you might find helpful.


What is Shawfair LLP doing to combat fly tipping?

Shawfair has organised for its contractor, JSL Security Services, to respond to reports of fly tipping and anti-social behaviour. You can email shawfair@jslservices.co.uk to report any incidents & their team will deal with your enquiry accordingly.


Who should you contact if you want to report anti-social behaviour?

If you want to report antisocial behaviour like noisy neighbours, drunken or threatening behaviour, vandalism and graffiti. The first port of call should be the police. You can report antisocial behaviour to the police by calling 101 or by visiting your local police station. Midlothian District Council has a responsibility if it is their own tenants involved in the behaviour.

Shawfair has also set up a response service if you see fly tipping or activity on the development sites, however anything criminal will also be referred to them in the first instance. The email for this service is shawfair@jslservices.co.uk. JSL will guide residents on what the best course of action is if a query does not fall under their remit & will let them know who is best to contact instead.


Who to contact for different topics?


Considering Shawfair as a Place to Live?

Where is Shawfair?

Shawfair sits just south of Edinburgh and west of Danderhall in Midlothian, less than a mile from the Edinburgh City Bypass and Sheriffhall Roundabout.


What is Shawfair?

Shawfair is the largest urban expansion in the area, spreading over 710 hectares – around 2.7 square miles. The development is on land previously used by Monktonhall colliery which closed in 1998.

When completed, Shawfair will have 4,000 homes, new schools, retail, business, leisure and community facilities. It will be a town of comparable size to Dalkeith, Dunblane or Linlithgow. As at Spring 2021, just over 1,000 homes are either built or are under construction.


Why is Shawfair a great place to live?

Shawfair offers country living on Edinburgh's doorstep, with a masterfully designed town centre taking shape, offering schools, offices, shops and places to eat and much more.

A network of cycle and walking paths help bring the community together with lots of landscaped green space, woodland and open water all around.

Shawfair provides stylish and spacious homes and gardens. The location is a plus point being just south of Edinburgh, with excellent road and rail links to Edinburgh, the Borders and beyond.


Can I see it on a map?

Also please see link to a detailed map showing when the various phases of development are due to begin, will be available in due course, following approval by Midlothian Council.


Buying a home at Shawfair

4000 homes will be built at Shawfair in clusters of developments surrounded by parkland and attractive water features.

A total of 1000 homes are already built or planned to be constructed.

Several housing developers have built or are building quality new homes at Shawfair:

  • Mactaggart & Mickel have built homes near the existing Millerhill village, to the south east of the Shawfair site. Phase 1 is almost sold out.
  • South of Danderhall on adjacent sites, Bellway and Miller Homes have two established developments. The Miller properties are sold-out, with Bellway still having properties for sale.
  • Dandara Homes are constructing homes south of Newton Village.
  • Stewart Milne Homes expects to begin construction in May 2021 in the north east corner of Shawfair, north of Danderhall. To complement this development, Shawfair LLP is finalising plans for sizeable landscaping from this area leading down to Woolmet, to be known as the Valley Park. This will also include – in Spring 2021 - soundproofing improvements to the Danderhall Miners Welfare Club in recognition of its important role as a place for the community to gather.

In 2022 it is expected that the first tranche of houses will begin being constructed in the town centre itself.


What schooling improvements are planned?

A new community campus is due to open for the 2026/27 academic year, just 100m from the existing railway station.

The campus will provide schooling for ages 3-18, plus health, leisure and sporting facilities for the entire community.


What Broadband connections are available?

Shawfair has committed to making full Fibre-to-the-Property (FTTP) broadband available for all NEW housing in the town.

Shawfair LLP takes the fibre ducting to the edge of the housing developments; thereafter each developer liaises directly with the providers to take the fibre connectivity to each property.


What options do I have for getting around?

Trains: Unlike other new towns in Scotland, Shawfair has a dedicated railway station in the heart of where the town centre will be - plus free parking for rail users. Regular services to Edinburgh take 15 minutes; in the other direction, the Scottish Borders are around 40 minutes away.

Walking/cycling: The cycle route network is being upgraded and green walking routes with opportunities for active play provided throughout the masterplan area. In total there will be eight miles of paths to encourage people to walk or cycle.

Sustrans has created a new walking and cycling route which extends the existing path from Roslin to Lasswade onto Shawfair. The 3km traffic-free route runs along a disused railway path which links communities living in Lasswade, Danderhall and Shawfair. Sustrans has also submitted a planning application to construct an additional cycle link that will connect the Kaimes Road area of Danderhall with the existing Roslin to Shawfair cycle path.

An existing walkway between Millerhill and Shawfair railway station will be improved as part of a future housing development, which is scheduled to begin the pre-application process with Midlothian Council in Spring 2021.

Roads: A new town centre ‘loop’ road is already 75% constructed. The final - eastern - section, will provide a direct connection with Shawfair town centre from the south. Construction is due to begin in summer 2021 and should be completed before the end of the year, subject to conclusion of third-party land matters. The Edinburgh City Bypass and A1 dual carriageway are close by for vehicle journeys further afield.

Shawfair Park & Ride – situated just off the A7 - offers fast and easy access to the capital.

Note: The Park & Ride is within Shawfair Park and is not part of the Shawfair LLP area; it is 100% owned by Midlothian Council.


How is the landscaping being planned and managed?

Shawfair will have numerous open and green areas - with some 350,000 trees already planted. An open water drainage pond has been created at Danderhall South and there are plans to plant large areas of structural landscaping and community woodland.

A new linear park - the Valley Park - will run south west from Stewart Milne Homes to the new town centre plots.

The emerging communities will be able to explore more than 160 acres of woodland and landscaped green space, a mix of large parks and smaller woodland areas.

Shawfair LLP has instigated an eco-replacement programme to ensure that the creation of the new town has no detrimental impact on the eco-diversity of the flora and fauna.

It has invested £1million to move existing electricity pylons underground, contributing to making Shawfair’s green space as attractive as possible.


How does Shawfair LLP support the people who live there?

Shawfair works closely with Danderhall & District Council members; to listen to the community and, as far as possible, to take their priorities into account. We have committed to attending every three months and providing answers to questions compiled monthly.

The housebuilders too are involved; eg, Mactaggart & Mickel are building a community hub at Millerhill, which should be completed by mid-2022.

Shawfair LLP has supported the wider community in a number of ways;

  • buying and donating a marquee for use during community events
  • supporting a Christmas Lights switch-on for people to enjoy since 2019 - and raising over £1,700 for cancer charity Myeloma UK.
  • Contributing £56 million to Midlothian Council to expand education, community and sports facilities, and to boost public transport including the Borders Railway which runs through the heart of Shawfair.


What future developments /projects are on the cards?

(refer to plot map for location)

First new homes for town centre: located north east of the junction between Millerhill Road and the road that leads to Shawfair railway station. Development is likely to begin in 2022. One plot will be largely traditional housing with a small number of apartments; the second plot is immediately beside the station area and will be a mix of apartments and housing to frame the access to the rail station and the first leg of the town centre area. Current status: bids from interested developers have been received and are being assessed.


How is Shawfair going to be a sustainable new town?

The vision for Shawfair is to create a truly great place to live, considering health and well-being, working lifestyle, exceptional schooling, leisure and outdoor facilities, fantastic transport links, quality and variety of homes or even simply enjoyment of peace and quiet.

Shawfair LLP has committed to developing and supporting a community that can embrace new and flexible ways of living – both self-sustaining and embracing its place in the wider region.

Midlothian Council is also working to increase biodiversity within Shawfair by stipulating that natives species are planted, rather than ornamental varieties.

Sustainable Growth Agreement

December 2019 saw the signing of a landmark sustainable growth agreement (SGA) by key partners involved in the planning for Shawfair. The shared vision of the three organisations – the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Midlothian Council and Shawfair LLP – recognises the effective partnerships created through the planning process to date and identifies opportunities for increased collaboration in 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 delivery of a district heating system for Shawfair’s town centre, powered by surplus, low carbon heat from the adjacent Energy from Waste facility (see below).

The pandemic has forced us to look at our local surroundings in a different way. Now more than ever, the future health, well-being and prosperity of Scotland relies on building sustainable places that are designed around people – promoting community, green space and easy access to more sustainable transport and energy options to cut climate emissions and improve air quality.

Explainer: Sustainable growth agreements are voluntary. They were introduced by SEPA to work in partnership with regulated organisations it supports to deliver environmentally positive outcomes, achieve regulatory compliance and reduce environmental impact beyond strict regulatory requirements.

District Heating

Midlothian Council has appointed Vattenfall, the leading Swedish state-owned energy company, as preferred bidder to become its energy partner to focus on delivering a wide range of energy projects across the area.

The first £20m project will be a fourth generation, innovative low carbon district heating network for Shawfair expected to save over 2,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, the equivalent of taking 1,200 petrol/diesel cars off the road.

Some 2,592 homes at Shawfair – constructed from 2021 onwards - will be heated in this way, as well all buildings for non-residential use.

The heat will be supplied by zero waste contractor FCC Environment, which operates the councils’ (Edinburgh and Midlothian) state of the art energy from waste facility (EfW) near Millerhill. The EfW is fuelled by residual waste collected by the local councils of Midlothian, Edinburgh and East Lothian.

FCC will supply the low carbon heat and Shawfair LLP will facilitate the connections to new domestic and commercial developments in the town.

This has been hailed as a major pathfinding project for Scotland. The District Heating system means that homes, business and community buildings in the centre will reap the benefit of lower-cost energy bills.

Explainer: temperature heat networks operate efficiently so that they can reduce the temperature of the heat supply down to approximately 50°C. This low temperature operation makes it easier to incorporate heat pumps, which operate more efficiently at lower temperatures. When compared to older heat networks and traditional gas heating systems, low temperature heat systems are cheaper to operate and maintain. Low temperature heat networks bring many benefits - including lower costs, maintenance, and an ability to adapt to take heat from many sources of waste heat, e.g. sewage works and data centres.