Our MSPs Alison Johnstone and Jim Eadie have written to Planning Minister Derek Mackay asking for the Craighouse application to be called in. The community is right behind them and greatly support our MSPs in this.
PLEASE write to minister Derek Mackay either through Jim and Alison or copied to them asking for Craighouse to be called in. A simple letter can be put in outlining some of the following issues in your own words. Please use your own words and say what you feel – there is more detail at the link at the bottom of this post for those that want to write something more detailed. (See below for how to write in)
Craighouse is a site of National Importance with Grade-A listed buildings in their nationally protected setting. This case sets a very undesirable precedent across the whole of Scotland. The Enabling Case was unproven and not properly assessed. There were many things wrong with the way it was presented, considered and assessed by the planning department and by the planning committee.
The decision was made against the objections of 2MSPs, MP, 6 local Councillors, 7 Community Councils, the Cockburn Association, the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland, the Friends of Craighouse and many other groups and organisations. It was objected to by thousands of members of the public who wrote in to the planning department – the largest amount of objections ever received by Edinburgh planning department for a single application.
The planning report was reported to be one of “the most damning” ever seen by our local MP with experts at the hearing pointing out that the words”detriment” and “detrimental” had been used 51 times in the planning report. The report admitted that the development – 172,000sq ft of newbuild plus associated carparking (more than all the listed buildings put together!) – damaged the settings of every single listed building on the site, against both local and national policy. It said that it would cause “significant detriment to the AGLV” (Area of Great Landscape Value) and contravened many Local Plan policies as well as diminishing one of Edinburgh’s seven hills. The only reason for consideration at all was that it was presented as an “Enabling Development” case.
This is the first Enabling Development of this size on a site of this importance in an urban area – and as such it creates a precedent across the whole of Scotland. There was no proper consideration of alternatives and the financial information remained largely hidden from the public. The Council and the Councillors were out of their depth, did not properly assess the application financially and admitted so. Appendix 2 – the Council’s so-called and very flimsy “financial report” said it had neither applied Enabling development guidelines to the figures nor had it calculated whether there was a conservation deficit. This is unacceptable.
Craighouse will set a precedent for other highly protected sites across Scotland and this has been admitted publicly in the Edinburgh Evening News by the Director of the Federation of Scottish Property, David Melhuish.
How to ask for a Call-In.
Contact the Minister for Local Government and Planning, Derek Mackay MSP
By email at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the common ministers’ email box – state clearly ‘for the attention of Derek Mackay’
Please also ask Local Councillors to write in and ask for a Call-In.
By letter to:
Derek Mackay, Minister for Local Government and Planning,St. Andrew’s House, Edinburgh EH1 3DG.
For more information on Call-In and more detail that you might like to consider for any letter – please go to this link: https://friendsofcraighouse.com/2014/09/08/craighouse-call-in-campaign-craighouse-call-in/