Craighouse plans lodged for third time

An artist's impression of the new plans. Picture: comp
An artist's impression of the new plans. Picture: comp
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BLUEPRINTS for a controversial £90 million development in Craighouse have been lodged for the third time after city demands for an underground car park were dropped.

Under the plans, around 145 properties would spring up in the former Edinburgh Napier University campus, with 64 homes created by converting the existing and 16th and 19th century buildings.

But despite slashing the number of new-build houses by a third to appease a protest group, campaigners have insisted developers go back to the drawing board amid concerns about congestion and pressure on schools.

The developer, Craighouse Partnership consortium – comprised of Sundial Properties, Mountgrange Investment and Napier University – has cut new-builds from 125 to 81.

A total of 2000 objections have been submitted against previous plans by opposition group Friends of Craighouse.

It is understood that discussions with both the city council and Historic Scotland had allowed the developer to use the existing “external parking areas” rather than building underground car parks.

An agreement has also been reached on a planning requirement for sandstone facades to be used on all sides of the new-build properties. The subsequent savings for developers means fewer properties now need to be built.

William Gray Muir, managing director of Sundial Properties, accepted that getting the masterplan right had not been “an easy task” but said he was confident the revised plans would “secure a long-term future for both the natural and built heritage at Craighouse whilst securing access to the site for ever”.

“This really is a good news story for everyone,” he said.

“The future of seven category A-listed buildings is secured, ten hectares of woodland and hillside is given to the people of Edinburgh, the local nature reserve is substantially expanded and public access is guaranteed in perpetuity.”

But campaigners remain staunchly opposed to the plans, despite the changes.

Rosy Barnes of Friends of Craighouse said “continued dereliction threats” had “eroded trust and called for a “different solution”.

She said: “In scheme three they’ve taken a building off but there is still more new-build than old – six development sites of up to six storeys 
high and 12 car parks on a protected Area of Great Landscape Value.

“They have failed to prove this is necessary and the pressure on local roads and schools is unsustainable. There is nothing to ensure the listed buildings are saved.”

david.oleary@edinburghnews.com

Rosy Barnes – Page 16