Controversial housing plans extended by over 100%

The green shaded area shows the lastest Edmonstone development proposals in the context of other planning applications in the area

The green shaded area shows the lastest Edmonstone development proposals in the context of other planning applications in the area

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Developers behind a controversial greenbelt housing project in the south-east of the city want to double the number of homes in the area.

Sheratan Ltd, which already has planning permission for 510 homes at the Edmonstone Estate, has announced it is bringing forward proposals for 680 more.

Plans will see a new community with its own primary school and a park stretching from Little France Drive to Craigmillar Castle built by developers on land surrounding Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Residents, who fear roads, schools and GP surgeries won’t cope with an influx of new families, say they feel left out by the planning process.

A neighbouring 173-home scheme, which was caught up in delays to the city’s local development plan housing blueprint, was granted by the Scottish Government on appeal, without being considered by councillors.

However, few formal objections to proposed housing developments on the site have been submitted, with Sheratan calling the plans “non-contentious”.

Developers say 25 per cent of the homes will be affordable, and that £7 million will be invested in a new primary school for the area, pre-empting potential concerns over the cash-strapped city being saddled with a huge bill for new infrastructure.

Roughly 70 per cent of the Edmonstone Home Farm site will be reserved for green space, including extensions to the cycling network that will join up routes between Craigmillar, Little France and the new housing.

A spokesman for the developers said the housing was badly needed to accommodate employees at the ERI and a new business development at the adjacent Edinburgh Bio Quarter, which is currently under construction.

However, Eric Dobbie, local resident and former chair of the Gilmerton & Inch Community Council, warned residents would be concerned at the scale of development.

Mr Dobbie, who now chairs the Edinburgh Association of Community Councils, said: “The original Edmonstone application shouldn’t have been passed in the first place, and now here we are, with developers saying, let’s start small and then keep pushing. What chance do residents and the public have to fight this? It’s a totally and utterly flawed position that we find ourselves in.

“Everyone is scrabbling for land to build houses in this swathe, and it’s a free-for-all. There’s not one bit of suitable traffic infrastructure being proposed. It’s a nightmare.”

Local Conservative councillor Nick Cook said he shared the concerns of local residents.

He said: “Given the significant scale of development already being proposed across south-east Edinburgh, this latest application will only add to the feeling local residents have of being a community ‘under siege’ by new developments.”

A Sheratan spokesman said: “We are delighted to be bringing forward proposals for Edmonstone Home Farm, which will not only deliver much-needed housing for the city but a new primary school and park, which has been a long-term aspiration for the council.

“This is a non-contentious site, given the very limited local opposition to previous proposals in the area, and we look forward to further meetings with the local community and hearing their feedback as we progress.”