Monday, September 08, 2014

Craighouse Hearing

I think it's fair to say that most local people (not to mention those further afield) where pretty stunned at the final outcome of last Wednesday's "Craighouse Hearing" meeting ...

... I had to leave the Hearing, having spoken in objection earlier, to get over to Glasgow for the early evening; and couldn't quite believe events as they unfolded before me, via twitter :-(

Given that the meeting was taken in the Main Council Chamber, the whole +7-hour event was webcast/recorded; and after some frustrating delays, the whole video is now up on the Council's archive site - here:

... if you're so interested, you can hear me speak, from here:

Just for the avoidance of any doubt, I'll list the vote - as cast and evidenced on the webcast - at the bottom of this post.

And I'll re-produce immediately below, the note I had before me, when I spoke to to the meeting ...

... and I am most definitely minded to support calls for this application to now be called-in by the Scottish Government. To that end, I will - as a local Councillor - write to the Minister for Local Government and Planning, within the next few days.


Application 12/04007/SCH3 (Scheme 3)
Planning permission and listed building consent for the proposed Craighouse development (12/04007/SCH3) should be refused as;
The proposals have been assessed against the relevant provisions of the development plan and it is concluded that they do not fully accord with development plan policy.
The proposed development is contrary to local plan policy to a greater or lesser extent in terms of:
·        the impact on the setting of the listed buildings
·        the impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area
·        the impact on landscape character and views to and from the site
·        the loss of trees
·        and the loss of open space, namely
  1. policies Des1
  2. Des3
  3. Des10
  4. Env3
  5. Env6
  6. Env11
  7. Env12
  8. and Os1 of the Edinburgh City Local Plan 
·        Further, it is contrary to Local Transport Strategy 2014-2019 policies aimed at increasing modal share for active and sustainable travel

And crucially, I believe the new-build elements of the proposal do not meet the definition of enabling development, either within Scottish Planning Policy; or within English Heritage Policy ...
While there is no specific local plan policy relating to enabling development Scottish Planning Policy states:
"142. Enabling development may be acceptable where it can be clearly shown to be the only means of preventing the loss of the asset and securing its long-term future. Any development should be the minimum necessary to achieve these aims. The resultant development should be designed and sited carefully to preserve or enhance the character and setting of the historic asset."
English Heritage Policy
There is no specific Scottish guidance in respect of enabling cases and therefore it is considered appropriate to consider the English Heritage guidance 'Enabling Development and the Conservation of Significant Places'.
The English Heritage document states;
"Enabling development that would secure the future of a significant place, but contravene other planning policy objectives, should be unacceptable unless:
a) it will not materially harm the heritage values of the place or its setting
b) it avoids detrimental fragmentation of management of the place
c) it will secure the long-term future of the place and, where applicable, its continued use for a sympathetic purpose
d) it is necessary to resolve problems arising from the inherent needs of the place, rather than the circumstances of the present owner, or the purchase price paid
e) sufficient subsidy is not available from any other source
f) it is demonstrated that the amount of enabling development is the minimum
necessary to secure the future of the place, and that its form minimises harm to other public interests
g) the public benefit of securing the future of the significant place through such enabling development decisively outweighs the disbenefits of breaching other public policies."
So, in conclusion:

·        I believe the Scheme 3 proposals are self-evidently contrary to numerous development plan policies
·        They do not meet the definition of enabling development, either within Scottish Planning Policy; or within English Heritage Policy
·        And there are therefore no material considerations which indicate that the development should be granted

I ask the Committee to refuse this application.






Gura Bergkvist said...

Well done, pleased to hear you are going to follow up this up

Alison Waugh said...

Thanks, I very much appreciate your adding your weight to this. And thanks for presenting the non-case for enabling development so clearly. There was no excuse for this development being passed. Much was made by the councillors who approved the plans of Historic Scotland not objecting. As their rather unexpected approval seems to have overridden all other considerations I don't know if that can be looked into as well.

Andrew said...

Gura / Alison

Thanks both for the feedback ... I'm sure that all relevant apsects of the decision would be looked at, *if* call-in requests are sucessful.