We will repost this every few days to the top of the blog for people to view. Just to note that we have been receiving a lot of reports of the portal being down, difficult to use or not working properly. I have written to Councillors asking if it can be investigated and I hope that they can look into it. Please don’t be put off if you do encounter any problems. We provide a number of ways to object – and the easiest might be to email direct to Emma Wilson. Please make sure that whatever method you choose you get an acknowledgement that your comment has been received. Thanks so much!
HOW TO OBJECT – INSTRUCTIONS
You can object using one of the following methods:
- Email the planner in charge: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Write to: Head of Planning, Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street
- Use the Edinburgh Planning Portal online at: https://citydev-portal.edinburgh.gov.uk
Find Simple Search put in the application number: 12/04007/FUL and it will come up.
- Click on log in and follow instructions and write your comments.
Remember: put the planning reference no: 12/04007/FUL address: Napier Campus Craighouse as well as your name, address and the date.
DEADLINE: 21st December
This is the reference no for the planning permission – there are two other reference numbers for the Listed Building Consent and consent to knock down the Learning Resource Centre, which makes things confusing. 12/04007/FUL is the one if you are particularly concerned about the new-build. The others are also on the portal to view and comment on with an earlier deadline of 14th Dec.
WHAT TO WRITE
This doesn’t have to be written like a solicitor’s letter, just express your opinion in your own words on why the development should not be allowed. But if you can include some of the following material planning considerations– it will have more power as it is material planning considerations that the planners must consider. The following set cover most of the issues that people talk to us about.
For example the housing estate across the woodland, green space, entrance, carpark and encroaching up the lawn is Contrary to the Local Plan – it is Loss of Open Space in a Conservation Area and the Open Space should be preserved – it destroys the setting of Old Craig – a Grade-A listed building held in great affection, removing traditional views of it from the entrance and across the site. It also obscures Old Craig as a landmark in views from the Braids and Blackford Hill and outwith the site. The extent and style of this housing development is out of keeping with the Conservation Area, Old Craig itself and the buildings outwith the site. It ruins the character of the Conservation Area. This housing estate also removes amenity as it is where kids play and where people walk and enjoy views of the listed buildings. There would also be a loss of trees that should be protected in a Conservation Area. The woodland edge is a particularly rich habitat and this housing estate would ruin habitat and destroy wildlife. So, you can see how a large number of material planning objections are in this para alone because the site is so special according to the policies, Conservation Area Appraisal and the Local Plan.
MATERIAL PLANNING OBJECTIONS
1. Contrary to Policy: Contrary to the Edinburgh Local Plan and other Scottish Gov planning policies.
2. Excessive & Unjustified New Build Sprawl: the site is heavily protected for its beauty, historic significance, and support of wildlife. They should not be putting new-build across it.
3. Ruining Setting of Grade-A Listed Buildings: the new build spoils the setting of the existing Grade-A listed buildings. Old Craig will be obscured by a housing estate and New Craig and the villas dominated by blocks. The site’s character as a city landmark will be spoilt from viewpoints around the city.
4. The Character of the Conservation Area will be Spoilt. The Craighouse site is a significant part of the character of the area – epitomises the Craiglockhart conservation character appraisal, which talks of Victorian buildings against dramatic landscape backdrops. The amount and style of new build is out of keeping with the listed buildings and surrounding area and highly detrimental to the character of the conservation area.
5. Public Amenity: The public will lose their much-loved open space, beautiful woodland and views. Areas where children play football will be destroyed, along with open parkland and many traditional walks. The high numbers of traffic and more roads will make it less safe, peaceful and natural.
6. Loss of Open Space. Craighouse is not designated for housing in the Local Plan and is a highly protected site of Open Space. Edinburgh Council are obliged to protect Open Space whether publicly or privately owned. So, according to policy, Craighouse should not be built on.
7. Craighouse is an Area of Great Landscape Value and Nature Conservation Site. These plans do not enhance the landscape – quite the contrary: they destroy the landscape character.
8. Local Traffic and Parking: 323+ extra vehicles will cause congestion on local roads already at capacity.
9. Cars/Parking onsite: roads/car-parks for 323 cars will turn green Open Space to tarmac against policy. This plus the traffic on site will spoil the character of the site, contrary to the conservation area policy.
10. Schooling: the new residential development will create an unsustainable strain on local schools, for which there is no possibility of enlargement (even with further funding, which is rarely sufficient from any new developments).
11. Flooding on Balcarres St: The extra car-parks and buildings will lead to increased flood-risk. This is also a risk for Meadowspot.
12. Trees: the plans see significant removal of mature trees and woodland, protected in a Conservation Area
13. Wildlife: The site is the habitat of local wildlife and the development proposal areas are the habitat of protected species such as bats and badgers. As a Local Biodiversity Site, the wildlife should be especially protected here.
14. Views and Skyline: The proposals will spoil the spectacular views into and out of the site. Protected views from the orchard to the castle will be foregrounded by sprawling housing estate with more housing ruining the views to the East. Views from outside of the site (such as from Blackford Hill or Arthur’s Seat) will be spoilt with new buildings obscuring or overwhelming the current Grade A listed buildings.
15. Precedent: This amount of new-build is in contravention of the Local Plan, the numerous protections and policies creates a dangerous precedent for Edinburgh’s other historic sites and green spaces.
REMEMBER: Write to the Council Planners by letter, email or by the Planning Portal and object to application number: 12/04007/FUL by the 21st of December. Remember, this is the important reference number for the new build. (The Listed building consent has a deadline of the 14th Dec if you want to look at that also – it’s on the portal.)
Thanks so much!
There are so many policies this development contravenes that we will be putting up more stuff as the month goes along, if anyone wants to include more details in their objections.