Ken O’Neill, Lothians’ newest independent candidate, has written to every board member of PARC Craigmillar, Edinburgh Council’s arms-length housing firm. Mr O’Neill asks the Board, who are meeting today, three questions about the proposals and the lack of forethought in the development plans.
Mr O’Neill said:
PARC describes itself as “at the heart of Craigmillar’s regeneration.” I’d say that their plans to destroy this beautiful park is more urban ‘degeneration.’ Rather than appearing to explain their plans to the public last week they sent a representative from ZM Architecture, who are drawing up designs for New City Vision. The people attending the meeting complained that they were not consulted on the plans. Sending a Glasgow based architect to assure their concerns was a strange tactic and showed their apparent disregard for local opinion. That’s why I have written to PARC’s Board asking for answers to the following questions.
- The Craigmillar Urban Design Framework identifies Cairntows Park as a potential development site but only once other sites were developed. Has PARC looked into developing these sites yet? If not, why is it attempting to develop Cairntows Park, knowing it will cause them problems?
- The Framework says that the proposal to develop on Cairntows Park is “contrary to the terms of the Local Plan.” Why then, when there are vacant brownfield sites within the area, is PARC pushing ahead with plans to build over the park?
- The area currently has traffic congestion and pollution problems. There is no scope for expanding the surrounding roads without the use of compulsory purchase orders. How does PARC plan to mitigate further congestion in the area given the development proposals include plans for 100 car parking spaces?
I look forward to hearing their answers very soon. I hope the Board takes the opportunity of their meeting next to consider the strength of local feeling against their plans and decide to withdraw them. I urge everyone to sign the Save Cairntows Park and Protect Edinburgh’s Greenspace online petition and help save this valuable local resource.
The Save Cairntows Park group’s online petition calls for the protection of the greenspace and that the area “cannot afford to lose Craigmillar’s only Park to provide additional commercial properties and flats when there is an abundance of both available in the area.”
- Edinburgh Council approved PARC Craigmillar’s planning application for the area earlier this month. The application says PARC will replace Cairntows Park with “Mixed tenure housing and flats with small urban park and commercial unit, mixed use residential and commercial units.”
- PARC Craigmillar is Edinburgh Council’s arms-length housing firm. Their website says they want to achieve a “new, revitalised town centre providing around 300,000 sq ft of space for commercial and retail development.”
- The Craigmillar Urban Design Framework, which includes plans to develop the park, describes “how the existing buildings and large vacant areas can become a new district of Edinburgh.” The plan says that the proposal to develop on Cairntows Park is “contrary to the terms of the Local Plan.”