At the last (absolutely packed) meeting of the Morningside Community Council (MCC), a resolution was passed by overwhelming majority. It stated:
“If the planning application for the Craighouse site proposes new development on areas which are designated in the Edinburgh City Local Plan as Open Space and/or Areas of Great Landscape Value, we will submit an objection.”
The entire site is designated in the Edinburgh City Local Plan as Open Space and/or Area of Great Landscape value, and therefore any new-build on the site is contrary to the Local Plan. This was made clear by planning officials in Edinburgh Council in their recent report to the Development Management Sub-Committee (Report by the Head of Planning on forthcoming application by Craighouse Ltd and Napier University).
We are absolutely delighted that MCC have agreed this resolution, and very grateful to MCC’s members, as well as the members of the community who have taken the time to listen, explain and discuss their concerns. This resolution was passed after a great deal of consideration was given to all the arguments on all sides, including the official planning report mentioned above and a recent letter to MCC by William Gray Muir of Sundial . Readers may also be interested to read the minutes of our meeting with the Craighouse Partnership and the Craighouse Partnership’s minutes of the same meeting.
MCC also agreed (after some discussion) to send in the following 5 questions for the next Community Liaison Forum. Here are the 5 questions chosen:
- The Craighouse Partnership bought this site knowing that it had a significant number of “A” listed buildings on it and some of the highest protection categories on the land adjoining them. You had the opportunity to assess the condition of those buildings and their likely conversion potential before proceeding with the purchase. What made you think that you could develop the land around the listed buildings contrary to the land designations and that such development could be used to cross-fund the conversion of the listed buildings?
- How can you ensure that the new owners of the property will continue to permit public access on land which they will then actually own?
- The City of Edinburgh Council have reported (Transp & Env ctte 29 Nov 11, item 5.4) that drainage in the Balcarres Street area is very vulnerable to flooding and there have been severe floods within the last 12 months. Can we have an absolute assurance that the drainage from the Craighouse site will not impinge in any way on the system which drains the area which includes Comiston, Craiglea and Plewlands and has its low point in Balcarres Street?
- How many units of affordable housing will the developers contribute to the City, and how many of them will be on the Craighouse site?
- Will there be public access to the Great Hall in the New Craig building?
We look forward to hearing the answers to some of these questions on Wednesday at the next Community Liaison Forum. And again, we would like to thank MCC for the great deal of time they have spent listening to local residents, the developers, and the City Council about the plans at Craighouse. They have all put in a great deal of work.
The draft minutes of the MCC meeting have been circulated, so we expect them to become public just before the next meeting.