On the 18th September there was a meeting at the City Chambers that included Councillors Andrew Burns and Gavin Corbett, various council officials in greenspace, parks and legal departments, representatives of the Craighouse Partnership, Common Ground Association and the Friends of Craighouse.
At this meeting was discussed a possible motion for the Council to call for a report to explore the possibilities of the Council taking over part of the land at Craighouse with a possibility of future community ownership.
We are very supportive of this motion.
We have long been supportive of the idea of community ownership or the community and Council working together with joint ownership of greenspace and woodland. We invited Robin Mclaren to speak at a number of meetings. This is at a very early stage but we would like to commend Councillor Andrew Burns and Councillor Gavin Corbett for spearheading the meeting and Andrew Burns and Melanie Main for liaising with the Friends of Craighouse.
We are mindful that this is at an early stage and might not happen. The developers seem anxious not to wait and are telling people that the application is going to go in a couple of weeks, so we must do all we can to make sure there is not excessive newbuild on this truly special site. It is essential that this motion should not be used as an excuse for excessive newbuild, roads and carparking to be built across the rest of the site or for the site to be salami-sliced or access taken away to end up as a gated community.
The amount of land or areas are not a matter for the motion but for discussion at a later date. The Friends of Craighouse would back a community or community/Council offer for all protected greenspace and woodland on the site.
We asked for various amendments to the motion and are happy to report the motion has been amended to reflect the following:
- That the motion and any areas vested should not affect in any way the protections or designations on the site as a whole – whether public or privately owned.
- That the report also explore the secondary option of Council and community working together and owning any greenspace and woodland jointly
- Oral amendment – That the residents of Morningside and South Central be properly included and consulted with by inclusion of the South Central Neighbourhood Partnership to the South West Neighbourhood Partnership in undertaking the consultation process (the original motion only included residents the South West Neighbourhood Partnership which cut out Morningside and other areas right on top of the site.)
- Oral amendment – That the motion and any areas vested not infer that access be denied or the rest of the site be fenced off
We would like to thank Councillors Andrew Burns for agreeing to include the above and for promising the full inclusion of Morningside and South Central residents going forward.
We hope that the motion may lead to a proper open discussion that leads to a solution to the rest of the site. This would be advantageous to the Craighouse Partnership in terms of reducing their overall liability and provide a good management solution long-term for the new residents and the general public.
It remains to be seen if anything concrete comes of this. This motion merely calls for a report to be commissioned and consultation to take place. But the will and offer is there – from Common Ground, from Friends of Craighouse and hopefully – from the Council.