People in Inverleith and Stockbridge are up in arms over the Council’s proposals to build luxury housing in Inverleith Park.
Last night I attended the AGM of the Inverleith Association. The big issue on the agenda was the proposed development of 9 luxury houses for Inverleith Park. There is rightly indignation locally about the proposals. The site is sensitive and the housing proposal would have a detrimental impact on the Park.
The Lib Dem/SNP council want to get planning clearance for 9 luxury houses on the site then intend to sell off the land to the highest bidder. I wrote to the City Council last month asking for clarification regarding the land to find out exactly when the designation for the site was changed and what consultation was carried out with local residents before the designation was changed. I also asked whether the Council considered the land to be common good land.
Last night it became clear when Cllr Lesley Hinds reported to the meeting that the designation had been changed in the revised Local Plan but that neither local residents nor even councillors had been alerted to this significant change in designation. There was general agreement last night that the switch in designation had therefore been sneaked through without consultation.
Thousands have signed the petition to protect the integrity of the park and the meeting agreed to lobby local councillors to ask for the removal of the site from the Council’s list of potential land sales and for the housing proposals to be dropped. The site is no longer needed as a depot and a discussion with the local community would enable better uses of the land to be identified. A cafe or toilets were suggested as a better use of the site which would benefit visitors to the park.
I’ll be keeping an eye on the situation as the Council will be continuing to meet during the Scottish Parliament election campaign. If you are interested in the campaign you can follow it on Facebook.