Local residents, responding to a door to door leaflet distribution, organised by Bonnyrigg & Lasswade Community Council, took part in a constructive ‘Reuse’ consultation carried out on 13th October. Contributors included Cheer Evolution, Seniors Social Forum, Midlothian Dog Training, Girl guides, Places for People, Architecture students, Outdoor Trainers, Woolrush Yarns, Bonnyrigg Bowling Club. 60 residents and groups attended the first day. Over the month over 1100 people watched the videos and over 220 contributed. (Appendix D)
On the basis of this consultation the Community Council concluded that the community is united in their support for the reuse of the centre as a play centre and community hub. They confirmed priorities were for a toddler friendly cafe, soft play, youth club and more hall hire especially for seniors and dance groups.
Midlothian Council concurrently conducted a ‘Neighbourhood Plan’ survey (Appendix E). A recurring theme was for more family social facilities and ‘what’s on’ information. Needs were:
Regenerate the High street
Less Dog fouling and litter
Seniors need space for shoppers club and forum
Youth facilities such as skate park and youth centre.
Bonnyrigg has grown rapidly as a result of new housing developments. The population is now estimated to be 17,500: Up 30% from the 2001 census.2 A further 8-16% increase is predicted in the next 5 years.3 25% of which are without transport. It is clear that those 3,000 new residents are seeking community.
The consultation, along with population growth and increasing demographic diversity, demonstrates the need for a strong grass roots development to help develop a cohesive and sustainable community in the Bonnyrigg area.