|Date||3 April 2012|
|Location||Loanhead, Midlothian||NT 27852 66410; 55.88539°N, 3.15497°W|
Ashgrove House is a Category C(S) listed building on the edge of Loanhead next to its boundary with Straiton, part of the city of Edinburgh. The now derelict estate was last sold in 2007 for £1.5m and is at the heart of an area of former green-belt land now the subject of planning applications for housing development.
Originally known as Mayshade House — named after the hawthorn trees on the estate — the classical villa was built in 1753 by Edinburgh master mason John Baxter as his own home. Baxter worked with architect William Adam and collaborated with him on the building of Mavisbank House, Baxter’s first major construction project. Mayshade House underwent substantial modification in the 19th century. In the 1950s the estate was a piggery, but by 1968 many of the piggery buildings had been demolished.
In July 2009 Edinburgh-based developers Straiton Park Ltd submitted plans for residential and commercial development of 27 hectares of land centred on Ashgrove House. Midlothian Council granted consent in March 2010 with conditions, including the construction of a long-desired relief road providing access to Edgefield Industrial Estate in order to divert heavy goods traffic away from Loanhead’s residential areas.
However, Straiton Park argues that owing to current market conditions the original plans are no longer viable. It now wants to build more houses instead of creating the commercial park previously planned for land taken out of the green belt specifically for the purpose of employment-producing business development. In June 2011 it lodged an application — currently under consideration — for Planning Permission in Principle for the change of use of the area in question.