Despite the disappointment of councillors voting to grant consent for the hugely unpopular Craighouse development, the community buyout plan for the site is continuing to gather momentum. The planning consent has no impact on the community’s right to buy the site under the Community Empowerment Bill. It also has no impact on the value the community would have to pay. Because the planning consent was argued on the basis of enabling development, then the value of the site (both with and without consent) is strictly the same: £4.7m. So, the community has the right to buy the Craighouse site for £4.7m whether the consent is granted or not, once the power is in force in Scotland in early 2015.
We have been getting some great people on board and lots of support. There will be more announcements coming from us on this, soon. Craighouse is likely to be put forwards as a flagship example of the new powers in the Community Empowerment Bill, so there is a lot of interest.
We have already shown that we can make the Craighouse site viable long-term without new-build for a £4.7m site value, and that we can show enough financial return on that investment to make it viable.
In the meantime, please keep campaigning for the planning consent to be called-in, as this will protect the site from harm in the meantime, as well as restoring some trust in the planning system. It will also protect other sites from the terrible Craighouse precedent.