Farm eviction campaign: Green MSPs join Pentland protest

Scottish Green MSPs today joined campaigners who handed in a petition to the Scottish Parliament in protest at the potential eviction of a farmer from his family’s home of 100 years. 

82-year-old tenant farmer Jim Telfer faces from eviction from Old Pentland Farm near Straiton in Midlothian as the landowners want to sell to developers behind a proposed film studio. Planning permission rests with the Scottish Government after Midlothian Council failed to make a ruling on the application within a 16-week deadline. 

jim%20family%20and%20mspsMidlothian Green councillor Ian Baxter has previously proposed Shawfair as a better location for such a development. 

Alison Johnstone and Andy Wightman, Green MSPs for Lothian, were joined at today’s protest by Green co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP. 

Andy Wightman MSP said: 

“The film studio may be a good idea but it’s the wrong location, and the stress this is placing on Jim, his family and the wider community is simply unacceptable. The site is good-quality farmland and should be protected, especially when there are other locations more appropriate for commercial developments. 

“The residents of Damhead and Old Pentland are due credit for galvanising support in this campaign, and the Green MSPs were delighted to welcome them to Parliament today. Let’s hope Scottish Ministers heed the strength of local feeling on this issue.” 

Mr Wightman has been asked to remove statements published in relation to the owner of the land. Today, he informed the landowner that he is declining the request and stands by the statements.