OPPOSITION TO PLANS GROWS

view with castleNEW DEADLINE: 4th JAN
(due to portal problems). Click for:  HOW TO OBJECT.

Opposition to the plans is growing apace.  Politicians report that their inboxes are awash with objections. But we can’t know the true number until well into the New Year so we can’t be complacent –   Please spread the word and please keep the objections coming. As awareness grows, people from all over the city are starting to realise what’s going on – and are horrified about what is proposed for Edinburgh’s seventh hill. The more people who know about this the better and the more who write in the more the impact there will be on planners and politicians. Let’s show how cared about this site is!

Morningside Community Council Vote to Object
On Wed night, Morningside Community Council voted decisively to oppose the plans – voting on a list of objections based on planning policy. Community Councils have a statutory duty to represent the community and the community made their views overwhelmingly clear at the packed public meeting and through a survey (where over 80% opposed the plans).

protest 1Morningside Parents Vote to Object
The parents  of Morningside Primary have also decisively voted to oppose the development being in the catchment area of the already overwhelmed South Morningside Primary. Over 90% of the parents that responded to a survey were opposed on these grounds so the parents council will be submitting an objection on behalf of the school community.

Cockburn Association Objects
The Cockburn Association, Edinburgh’s Civic Society, has sent in an objection letter saying they “strongly object to these proposals”. They say:

As the whole scheme hangs on the requirement for enabling development and the City of Edinburgh Council will be referring to the English Heritage policy on Enabling Development and Conservation of Significant Places we would draw your attention to paragraph 3.8.2

But if applicants are unwilling to supply the very information that is the foundation of their case for overriding normal planning policies, refusal becomes all but inevitable.

They add:

The Craighouse Campus on Easter Craiglockhart Hill combines landscape and architecture that are of national importance and the process is therefore under intense public scrutiny. The Association wishes to see the future of Dr Clouston and his architect Sydney Mitchell’s outstanding architectural contribution to Scotland’s heritage secured with a minimum of intervention required, for future generations to continue to enjoy the exceptional qualities of Edinburgh’s seventh hill. In light of the foregoing we strongly object to these proposals.

[their bold]

Craiglockhart Community Council Objects
Craiglockhart Community Council have also put in a letter of objection. Viewable on the portal.

SEPA OBJECTS
SEPA have also put in an objection. A letter released on the portal today makes it clear that the Craighouse Partnership have not done enough work on the drainage. Residents of Balcarres Street are particularly concerned about flooding, understandably since the nightmare they have faced in recent years. Residents in Meadowspot are also very vulnerable to water run off. This letter  would seem to show, yet again, that The Craighouse Partnership, have submitted inadequate information.

Politicians Stand up to be Counted
The public meeting arranged by Morningside Community Council a fortnight ago included a presentation from William Gray Muir for The Craighouse Partnership and another by Rosy Barnes of the Friends of Craighouse, was chaired by Ian Murray MP and attended by a number of politicians.   Jim Eadie SNP MSP and Alison Johnstone Green MSP showed real leadership on the issue. Jim Eadie emphasised the importance of the site and his concern about the lack of financial transparency that has since turned into such a big issue for this development. Alison reminded the assembled audience of why she went into politics in the first place. The community had compromised already – she said – over Meggetland. We had to draw a line and there was no point “if Craighouse was no longer Craighouse”. Councillor Mark McInnes (Conservative) also expressed concern from the floor saying he believed the community’s major concern was the amount of newbuild and that was the real issue.

Councillor Gavin Corbett (Green) wrote an open letter to the Evening News in which he brings up the lack of financial case submitted and the way things seem to change on the hoof, saying “credulity is being stretched as the process 
continues.”

It’s good to see politicians prepared to voice the serious concerns for the people they represent.

Jim Eadie followed up with a letter to residents after the results from his own survey (over 90% of respondents opposed the plans). He wrote: 

“I do not agree that the developers have shown that we cannot both preserve these buildings and maintain the wonderful greenspace that surrounds them. This site is highly protected by planning policies, and rightly so. If we ride roughshod over these planning policies to build on Craighouse – where is next? I firmly believe, having carefully considered all of the arguments, that it is time to say enough is enough.”

We must think about what’s at stake.
Craighouse is one of the seven hills: others are Blackford and Braid, Corstorphine Hill, Calton Hill, Arthur’s Seat and the Castle Rock.
Craighouse is an Area of Great Landscape Value. Others are Arthur’s Seat, Hermitage of Braid, Corstorphine Hill and the Botanical Gardens. (And Corstorphine Hill is already battling development!)
Craighouse is Open Space in a Conservation Area – the only protection that keeps so many of our City’s parks from development…
And apart from the appalling precedent that would be created – shouldn’t we demand better for this stunning important historic site on Edinburgh’s seventh hill?  At the public meetings, excitement about other options is growing – hotel with the villas residential, conference centre, flats for the active older market. There is a very lucrative wedding business at Craighouse – The Craighouse Partnership themselves were impressed with the figures…
There were many bidders for this site and a lot of interest and many alternatives. What the Craighouse Partnership proposes will ruin this exceptional site and stunning hilltop setting of Category A Listed Buildings and exploit protected green space and woodland for profit.
So, please. We know it’s Christmas. But spare two minutes to join the growing numbers of people, of organisations and groups who are objecting to what is happening at Craighouse. The deadline has been extended to the 4th Jan – so if you haven’t already, you still have time to object – here’s that link again: https://friendsofcraighouse.com/how-to-object/
Thanks so much!

DEADLINE 4th JAN

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About friendsofcraighouse

A local group wanting to preserve the beautiful Craighouse Campus site in Edinburgh.
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