Who are We and Why has the Group Formed?
We have 100s of members from all walks of life and across the generations including local families, nature-lovers, dog-walkers, Easter-egg rollers, fireworks-fans and star-gazers…Nearly a thousand people follow us on our Facebook page and we have support from people all over the city. People from all over Edinburgh come to enjoy the superb landscape and stunning views across the city from Craighouse. Our youngest member is 9; our oldest in their 80s.
The Friends of Craighouse Grounds and Wood (known as Friends of Craighouse) formed when the former Napier Craighouse Campus in Edinburgh was bought by property developers, Mountgrange Real Estate Opportunity Fund. Many people don’t realise the significant amount of land now owned by the developers which includes: the campus grounds; the woods entered from Craighouse Road, Craighouse Wood and the hill itself.
The site, consisting of Category-A listed historic buildings set in beautiful parkland and woodland, is a much-loved area that is designated Open Green Space of Great Landscape Value in a Conservation Area, contains mature woodland, contains a Local Nature Reserve, nationally protected settings of Cat-A historic buildings and is mainly designated a Local Biodiversity Site.
In Sept 2014, planning permission was given to Mountgrange plus Napier University (who had moved out of the site) to put 172,000 sq ft of newbuild development – substantial blocks of newbuild development plus carparking on this protected site. This is more newbuild than all the historic buildings on the site put together.
Thousands of people wrote in to object – the largest number ever seen in Edinburgh for a single application. But despite this, despite the 7 Community Councils who wrote to object, the numerous groups, organisations and people at the hearing – including the Cockburn Association and the Architectural Heritage Society Scotland and 9 politicians who all spoke against it…and despite a Council planning report about the scheme that used the word “detrimental” an eye-watering 51 times….the planning committee voted to approve the application.
Months later and the historic buildings still lie boarded up and abandoned.
The Friends are campaigning to save the site – the grounds and the buildings.
Please Join Us
I am a Planning Officer who has just moved to Edinburgh having accepted severance from my previous employer.
I could maybe help you in that I can put your objections in planning terms, and could help draft these in terms of how Planning Officers will view them.
I have no conflict of interest issues as I am no longer employed.
Wonder what you think?
Hi Diane, thanks so much for this and sorry for not replying – only just seen this! If you would like to get in touch please email firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be great to chat and see if you’d like to get involved. Thank you for offering your expertise – really appreciated. Our objection has already gone to the planning department, but there will be more happening soon so would be great if you want to get in contact. Best and Thanks so much. Rosy