“High Fives” for Craighouse! Tell, blog, tweet, Facebook everyone you know craighouse-edinburgh-napier-mountgrange-development-info

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We have had a number of indications that the application may go in in the next few weeks.

We cannot know until or even if it will happen, but objections can be submitted by email, so if you are away, check the internet now and then or join our email list to keep informed. We will send out details of email address to write to when the time comes.

Raising Awareness

The Friends of Craighouse Save Our Craighouse campaign has done a huge amount to raise awareness of one of the largest proposed developments of protected green space for many years. Thanks to our members, we have gathered an incredible:

5500 local signatures!

  • Shops have displayed petitions and posters.
  • Hundreds of people gathered on the orchard to show their love of the site.
  • Politicians have made statements of support.
  • Morningside and Merchiston Community Councils have made statements and resolutions to oppose.
  • The Cockburn Association wrote to say they would oppose present proposals.
  • The Campaign has gathered media coverage and wide-spread support from across the city.

This  is a tremendous result. Thanks to all the people who support and love the site.

However, even now, two years after Napier University sold the Craighouse campus to a development consortium, there are people across wider Edinburgh who remain unaware of that this historic protected landscape is threatened let alone the scale of Mountgrange & Sundial’s proposed development and how what is proposed contravenes the Edinburgh Local Plan and is against the numerous protections and designations on the site. Many people are still unaware how this might impact their local green spaces and heritage sites through the powerful precedent that would be created by overturning these important planning designations.

Any decision the City of Edinburgh Council may take on the developer’s planning application will have consequences for generations to come, not only at Craighouse but for the increasingly threatened green space and parks throughout the city.  The estate at Craighouse has been existent for some 400 years, is it the right decision to allow excessive new build on such a historic and protected site, against policy and against all the protections?

It is time to start spreading the word further afield.

Many people from surrounding Morningside, Craiglockhart, Colinton, Shandon and even further afield use the grounds: for walking, as part of a visit to the city, to relax on summer days, for the spectacular views of Edinburgh over to the Castle and Arthur’s Seat, and it is an ever popular venue for hundreds to gather to watch the end of festival fireworks.  Due to the immense beauty of the estate, people often choose Craighouse as a wedding venue. As someone said to us – this is the Arthur’s Seat of South Edinburgh. Some use the grounds every day for walking or biking. Others maybe every week and others for special occasions or hill walks.

Mountgrange now own the entire campus site – including the woodland, the Local Nature Reserve and the parkland. Access remains a huge concern for the future.

So, we’re posing a challenge to you:

Tell five people about Craighouse!  They can be anybody that lives, works, or has an interest in Edinburgh – here’s some suggestions:

  • work colleagues or fellow students
  • your friends and family
  • people interested in buildings and landscapes or history
  • Wildlife groups or people who like wildlife and nature watching
  • your Facebook friends or Twitter followers
  • people you talk to at the library or local shops
  • your neighbours
  • hikers and ramblers
  • bikers and dog-walkers
  • residents associations or groups
  • school or parents societies
  • shops
  • Other green space groups – Friends of Parks or green spaces
  • or even people when having a conversation at the bus stop

You can talk to people in person, by text message, by phone, by email, instant message or notice board.  Perhaps point others towards our website, show them news articles and also the developers’ proposals. Or retweet, like or link to this post.

If you are unsure what to say, post or tweet a picture of the beautiful orchard and green space. We have many on our website here you can repost.

Here are some of the things that people frequently express concern to us about:

  • Craighouse is one of Edinburgh’s seven hills which should be protected.
  • That the green space, extensively used by local people for decades and designated Open Space in a Conservation Area of Great Landscape Value, is now threatened by development.
  • Kids, families, the elderly all enjoy this space and it is hugely important to the local community and the wider community of Edinburgh
  • The development sites are on areas designated Great Landscape Value,  Open Space in Conservation Area and Local Nature Conservation Site
  • Some of the most spectacular views in the city are put at risk due to the proposed development.
  • That the site is now owned by an offshore network of companies on the Isle of Mann
  • That the two senior partners in Mountgrange were the two directors of Mountgrange Capital plc, the company that spectacularly failed with the Caltongate development on the Royal Mile.
  • That in response to the local community expressing concern over the amount of new build last Sept, the revised proposals actually increased the amount of new build.
  • The local area cannot cope with the extreme increase of traffic and parking.
  • That the site will be covered in carparking as a result of all the extra cars and traffic – changing its natural feel.
  • That developers shouldn’t be trying to profit from building over protected green sites when there are many brownfield sites that need economic regeneration
  • That the development proposals are contrary to the Edinburgh Local Development Plan and should not even be entertained by the Council.

Together we can potentially spread the word out to thousands of people and groups across Edinburgh!

Craighouse is a site of citywide significance. People should know what is proposed before it is spoiled forever.

Thanks so much.

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