The Craighouse planning consent was supposed to save the listed buildings, but instead all that is being proposed right now is yet more demolitions. Yet again, we are being asked to object to the planning department to stop further destruction of the site.
See at the bottom of this post for instructions on how to object.
Deadline: Friday 3rd June
William Gray Muir, the developer pushing for the planning consent to “save” Craighouse has now moved onto other projects and refuses to talk about Craighouse anymore. While new investor, Clearbell, markets the site as “Residential development land” and is seeking “delivery partners“. A series of building warrant applications on the Edinburgh planning portal for Craighouse are only for demolitions: no sign of building warrant applications for renovations or construction.
In less than two years, the enabling development has failed.
The application asks to demolish the chimney shown on the right as it is leaning and has become unsafe. But the proposals are not to repair this chimney. The tall chimneys are a key defining feature of the architecture of these A listed buildings. The chimney should be repaired, not demolished. What is the point of the enabling development if parts of the site are gradually demolished as they deteriorate?
The current planning applications ask to remove the current gates from the pedestrian entrance to the site, including one of the stone pillars. The application states that the materials will be stored for restoration at some unspecified point in the future. But when?
The gates are being removed for “site traffic egress”. But, this route is highly unsuitable for construction traffic. There are no plans presented for the route construction traffic will take.
In the meantime, what is to stop the owners putting up another “temporary” wooden barrier, blocking access to the site? No planning application was made for that temporary structure and once the current gates are gone, something needs to be put in place to block unauthorized vehicle access. No plans are supplied that prevent unauthorized vehicle access, but allow pedestrian access.
The “enabling development” was supposed to preserve public access and save the buildings. The risk is that this is a precursor to blocking public access to the site until such time as a buyer is found who is willing and able to fund the restoration of the listed buildings.
How to object:
You can object by either:
- E-mailing Barbara Stuart (Barbara.Stuart@edinburgh.gov.uk), giving the reason for your objection and the two reference numbers: 16/02163/FUL and 16/02164/LBC, as well as your name and address
- Object directly on the website at both these links: 16/02163/FUL and 16/02164/LBC
Your reasons for objecting could include:
- The enabling development was supposed to save the buildings, not lead to further demolitions.
- The chimneys are critical to the design of the A-Listed buildings and should be repaired, not demolished.
- The entrance gates being removed are not a suitable exit or entrance for construction traffic and there is already a construction traffic route.
- No plans are shown for how to stop unauthorized vehicles going into the site via the entrance once the gates are removed.
- If the gates were replaced with a “temporary” structure like the other entrance, access to the site would be blocked, which would break a key commitment made by the applicant for the current consent.
- The map in the application is out of date and does not show the current main entrance, which is critical to understanding the application.