Friday, January 04, 2013

Craighouse deadline today

Craighouse planning application deadline today ... I've mentioned the significant debate around this planning proposal on several occasions in recent months: here and here, for example.

Submitted my own, fairly brief comments earlier today and - given the local interest - thought it might be best to simply copy-and-paste them below.

From: Andrew Burns
Sent: Fri 04/01/2013 4:03 PM
To: Emma Wilson
Cc: Elaine Robertson; David Leslie
Subject: Objection to Application Reference: 12/04007/FUL

Emma (c.c.Elaine/David)
I write (principally) concerning Application Reference 12/04007/FUL; relating to Napier University Craighouse Campus, Craighouse Road, Edinburgh; for which formal comments close today, Friday 4th January.
Can I also make clear (knowing the deadlines for formal comment have passed) that I have no objection to either Application Reference 12/04007/LBC, regarding the change of use and conversion of listed buildings; nor Application Reference 12/04007/CON regarding the demolition of the Learning Resource Centre building.
I do though wish to object, as one of the Local Councillors for Ward 9, to Application Reference 12/04007/FUL ... regarding the proposed change of use and conversion of existing buildings from university campus to residential and construction of new build residential.
My e-mail of today (4th January) will briefly outline my objections, based on documentation that is currently publicly available.
I am fully aware that the Council wrote to the Applicant (on 10th December 2012) requesting a significant amount of further information in addition to that which was originally submitted for this planning application. To the best of my knowledge, much of that requested information is yet to be provided by the applicant; and I would want to reserve the opportunity to comment further on that material, if and when submitted, as I feel it could well have significant implications when added to the currently submitted material.
I do believe that the preservation of the listed buildings on this site is of very significant importance and I do understand that some new build development on the site may well be required to part-finance the project. The detail on this crucial issue - of 'enabling development' - is one of the significant factors that may become clearer with the submission of the additional requested material, as per the Council's letter of 10th December 2012 to the Applicant.
I am though also (strongly) of the view that any such 'enabling development' must not degrade the open space, but must indeed complement the existing buildings and leave open access for the public. Regrettably, I believe the current application represents an unacceptable amount of abstraction of open space for private use, and I therefore wish to object on the following grounds:
- the Edinburgh City Local Plan designates Easter Craiglockhart Hill as 'open space' and an 'area of great landscape value'. My understanding is that these designations predicate against development that will diminish the landscape (Policy ENV11) or fail to preserve or enhance the conservation area (Policy ENV6).
- in my judgement, the new build currently proposed for the site does diminish the open landscape character of Craighouse and is thus against the Edinburgh City Local Plan policies alluded to above. What is currently proposed would thus, in my judgement, be to the detriment of the special character of Easter Craiglockhart Hill.
- I am aware that the Applicant's Planning Statement acknowledges that their proposal is contrary to the Edinburgh City Local Plan and justifies this breach of policy on the 'enabling development' argument.
- but until further, detailed information is made available on this argument, my own view is that the application ... as currently configured ... should be refused on the grounds that it does breach the Edinburgh City Local Plan.
I look forward to an acknowledgement that this objection has been received; and to being kept informed as, and when, further materials are submitted by the Applicant in response to the Council's letter of 10th December 2012.
Many thanks.
Andrew Burns
Labour Councillor for Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart Ward
Labour Group and City of Edinburgh Council Leader
Tel: 0131 529 3287 (w) or: 07880 502 212 (m)
Local Surgeries - no appointment necessary, simply turn up:
  • Every Monday, 6pm (during school term-time) @ Craiglockhart Primary School, Ashley Terrace
  • Every Tuesday, 6pm (during school term-time) @ St.Cuthbert's Primary School, Hutchison Crossway
  • Every Wednesday, 6pm (all year round) @ Fountainbridge Library, Dundee Street

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